JAMESWAY SAYS IT'S WEIGHING CH. 11

NEW YORK--Jamesway Corp., among the weakest of the regional discounters, said Friday it is considering filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition due to "continued weak sales results, operating losses and increasingly constricted trade credit."
The 90-store discount chain, based in Secaucus, N.J., has been struggling since it emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization Jan. 31, 1995. Should Jamesway file for Chapter 11, it would follow the footsteps of Caldor Corp., which went bankrupt last month, and Bradlees, which went bust in June. Caldor and Bradlees are also regional discounters. All have been up against a tough retail climate and the dominance of national discount giants Target and Wal-Mart. In July, Jamesway retained Financo Inc., a New York-based investment banking firm, to look for a possible buyer. In late August, sources said Ames Department Stores was close to a deal. Hills Department Stores and Caldor had also undergone negotiations.
In the second quarter ended July 29, Jamesway widened its losses to $4.3 million from $3.6 million a year ago. The year-ago loss includes $2 million in reorganization costs. Sales declined 8.4 percent to $149.1 million, with same-store sales sliding 6 percent.
Jamesway on Friday also reported same-store sales fell 9 percent in September. Sales, excluding leased departments, fell 10.4 percent to $57.5 million from $64.2 million. Sales for the year to date dropped 10.6 percent to $374 million from $418.5 million, with same-store sales off 8 percent.

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