BRENNAN HONORED: Edward Brennan, chairman and chief executive officer of Sears, Roebuck & Co., is being honored by the Minority Economic Resources Corp. Brennan will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Excellence in Leadership award at MERC’s 22nd Annual King commemorative dinner Jan. 8 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers.

ROSS REPORTS: Ross Stores, an off-price retailer based in Newark, Calif., reported sales rose 4 percent in the four weeks ended Dec. 25, but said same-store sales declined 4 percent. In the period, net sales increased to $164 million from $157 million last year.

STUARTS SETS CREDIT: Stuarts Department Stores, Franklin, Mass., has finalized a new three-year $10 million revolving credit line with Foothill Capital Corp., secured by all Stuarts’ assets, including inventory. It may be increased to $15 million.

“The financing arrangements with Foothill represent a significant step in the company’s progress since its emergence from Chapter 11 proceedings,” said Denis T. Lemure, president. “The financing arrangements should provide Stuarts with available borrowing capacity to finance its operations during the foreseeable future.”

Stuarts runs 20 discount department stores in New England and had been operating without a financing package since emerging from bankruptcy in October 1992.

The company also said it made the final $5 million payment owed to unsecured creditors under the chain’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan, paying creditors 36 percent of claims plus 80 percent of the retailer’s common stock.

LAST CALL: Value Merchants Inc., which is operating in Chapter 11, said it received bankruptcy court approval to conduct going-out-of-business sales at 45 Everything’s A Dollar stores and 30 Toy Liquidator stores.

The sales are expected to be completed by Jan. 30. About 500 employees will be affected.

Milwaukee-based Value Merchants operates more than 400 general merchandise stores and about 120 toy stores. The company filed its Chapter 11 petition earlier this month.

X-AM’S YOUTH CULTURE: Sun Apparel Co. today is launching a one-year ad campaign touting its new X-Am Jeans brand, specifically aimed at the mass market. The company projects total first-year sales of $20 million for the women’s, men’s and children’s lines. Sun chose to target mass retailers because most major jeans brands sold there have been around for nearly 20 years old, and it hopes to attract the teenage market with a new label while the young shoppers are in these stores looking for music or makeup, said a company spokeswoman.

The series of print ads features MTV video DJ and model Daisy Fuentes, and the launch is costing $3 million. The collection includes jeans, shorts, skirts and vests retailing from $15.99 to $24.99. Merchandise is slated for February delivery.