BURLINGTON DEEPER IN HOLE: In its first quarterly financial report since filing for bankruptcy in November, Burlington Industries Inc. said it took a $75.2 million loss in its first quarter, compared with an $11.5 million loss a year earlier. Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 29 were $246.2 million, down 32.4 percent. The company took $59.2 million in restructuring charges during the quarter, mainly related to plant closings in the U.S. and Mexico. The apparel fabrics division’s operating loss widened to $18 million from $7.6 million, as sales fell 35.8 percent to $121.5 million. The company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the sales declines were largely a result of its decision to pull out of underperforming product categories.

WAL-MART’S RELIEF: An Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a $50 million decision against the retailer by throwing out a jury’s finding in 2000 that the discounter stole trade secrets from a Texas company. The legal dispute involved both companies’ attempt and failure to develop a credit system for Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club subsidiary in the Nineties. The court concluded that the evidence failed to support the jury verdict.

KMART BOOZE REQUEST: A Chicago bankruptcy court judge on Wednesday approved Kmart’s emergency request to pay $10 million to liquor vendors to clear back bills and keep its shelves stocked. The retailer said in court papers that local laws in several states barred the vendors from selling on credit past a certain time period. It also said that selling liquor was vital to the company’s health because of the store traffic generated by the category.

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