Retail Bankruptcies Pile Up

The jewelry industry was hit with two noteworthy retail bankruptcies as 2009 began. First, in January, was Shane Co., a Midwest retailer that operates 23 stores in 14 states, which filed for Chapter 11 in the middle of the month. The company, formerly known as Western Stone and Metal, was famed for its radio ads featuring family member Tom Shane, who calls himself “your friend in the diamond business.” While many companies that filed Chapter 11 recently have liquidated, Shane says it's acquired interim use of cash collateral and planned to refinance and continue operating. In an audio press release, Shane vowed the chain would remain open. That doesn't seem a likely fate for storied 20-store Northeast retailer Fortunoff, whose February Chapter 11 filing came almost exactly a year after its filing in 2008. The first filing came right before the company was purchased by investm

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