LOS ANGELES — Troubled Mervyns confirmed reports on Friday that CIT Group Inc. has stopped approving about $40 million in credit on merchandise orders and that some small vendors have stopped shipping.
"For the most part our vendors are still delivering, and CIT has a liquidity crisis of its own," said a spokesman for the Hayward, Calif.-based retailer. "We were affected earlier by the economic downturn and if you look at the situation for all of California, it's been hard for retailers."
CIT, a large specialty lender that has been hit hard by the subprime mortgage fallout, stopped approving credit last month for about $40 million worth of orders to the struggling retail chain. CIT, one of the apparel industries largest lenders, shut its home lending operations last summer and reported a $134.5 million loss in the second quarter. Calls to CIT were not returned.
Mervyns, which has an average store footprint of 80,000 square feet in its 175 units, has scaled back inventory in response to the economic downturn and current circumstances, but the spokesman said the chain has adequate stock — tens of millions of dollars worth of merchandise — for the upcoming fall season.
"We do have a plan we will execute in terms of what we are offering our customers and how best we can serve them and meet their needs," he said.
Mervyns was sold by Target Corp. in 2004 to Cerberus Capital Management LP and Sun Capital Partners Inc. This spring, the company brought in turnaround specialist John Goodman, formerly of Levi Strauss & Co., as chief executive officer.
In April, Mervyns announced 350 layoffs in two distribution centers and, in May, set two store closings because it wasn't able to renegotiate leases. The firm, which employs about 20,000 workers, said it plans to sell five to 10 underperforming stores with high real estate value, but also expects to open five stores next year.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast