Retail's Bleak Forecast

Might Duane Reade be New York City’s next victim of the financial crisis? According to The Wall Street Journal, the ubiquitous Manhattan drug store is just one of several retailers threatened by a post-Holiday crunch, as the industry’s biggest lenders, including GE Capital, CIT Group Inc., and Wachovia Corp, tighten lending terms and reduce their exposure to retail. In addition to pinching retailers with poor credit ratings, like Duane Reade, Claire’s Stores, and Bon-Ton Stores, this tightfistedness is making it difficult for other companies to reorganize under Chapter 11. Circuit City, which filed for bankruptcy in November, warned on Friday that it risks liquidation if it fails to secure a cash infusion.