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Body Central begins New Year in bad shape


Another mall-based retailer has announced that it is in default and struggling for survival.

Body Central Corp. announced that it is in default on $18 million in debt and is exploring strategic alternatives, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said in a statement.

The company also said it is experiencing “significant liquidity problems,” and is exploring options, including a possible bankruptcy filing.

Ben Rosenfeld, president and CEO, said: "While the company has made significant reductions in expenses and reduced excess inventory levels, our top line remains challenged by both the overall market environment and the transition time required to complete the merchandise transformation that began in the latter half of 2014. The management team and board, along with its advisors will continue to evaluate all available alternatives that may be appropriate for the business."

The retailer, which operates about 265 stores in 28 states, sells clothes and accessories to young women and teens. It has lost about $70 million in the 12 months through September, joining a parade of struggling retailers that cater to younger shoppers.

Deb Stores Holding LLC and Delia’s Inc. filed for bankruptcy in December, hurt by competition from online and fast-fashion retailers.

Wet Seal Inc., meanwhile, announced it will close about two-thirds of its locations as it strives to save cash after receiving a default notice on $27 million in notes.

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