• RANTING ABOUT RAVE: Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its ratings on mall-based junior and preteen apparel retailer G+G Retail Inc., operator of the Rave and Rave Girl apparel chains. S&P revised downward the New York-based company’s corporate credit rating to “B” with a negative outlook from “B-plus” with a stable outlook, lowered its senior unsecured debt rating to “B” from “B-plus,” and cut the firm’s bank loan rating to “BB-minus” from “BB.” S&P said the move “reflects G+G’s weak operating performance through the first half of 2003, deteriorating cash flow protection measures and S&P’s expectations that the company will be challenged to improve results due to the difficult retail environment and intense competition in the teen apparel segment.” G+G has more than 500 units and endured a same-store sales decline of 13.8 percent during the first half of the year. As of Aug. 2, G+G had $105 million of funded debt on its balance sheet and liquidity remains adequate, S&P said.

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