Friedman’s December sales fall short of credit agreement

Friedman’s Inc. said December sales didn’t meet the minimum required under the terms of its credit agreement. Delayed receipts of inventory shipments during the holiday season and more prudent credit practices hurt sales last month, the Savannah-based jeweler said in a statement Tuesday.

Friedman’s is in talks with its lenders to amend the terms of its credit agreement. The company, whose accounting practices is the source of a federal investigation and which was informed in October that the Securities and Exchange Commission may recommend halting trading of its stock, said it had amended its credit facility to reduce earnings requirements.

“Delays in shipments and the implementation of more prudent credit practices have clearly had a negative effect on our holiday season, making it necessary for us to seek amendments to our secured trade credit program and to our credit facility,” said Sam Cusano, Friedman’s CEO. “Friedman’s appreciates the ongoing support of both our lenders and vendors as the company works through the challenges and changes necessary to restore and rebuild Friedman’s.”