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Steve & Barry's Cash Crunch

In case you missed it, the Wall Street Journal had an alarming story over the weekend about Steve & Barry's, which seemed like a hot and expanding concept, is currently facing a cash crunch and its future suddenly appears bleak.

The closely held retailer is racing to find rescue financing of about $30 million. If it is unable to secure backing, it could seek protection from creditors sometime in the next month, say several creditors, bankruptcy lawyers and retail experts familiar with the matter. Steve & Barry's has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to seek out financing and hired a bankruptcy lawyer to advise it on a restructuring, say these people.

A spokesman for Steve & Barry's declined to comment. Its attorney, New York-based retail-bankruptcy veteran Paul Traub, also declined to comment when reached Thursday.

The cash crunch comes even as Steve & Barry's expands across the country, with stores already in 40 states hawking exclusive fashion lines endorsed by tennis player Venus Williams and actress Amanda Bynes. Since May 15, it has opened nine stores, from upstate New York to Kokomo, Ind., and San Jose, Calif.

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