Taking Stock: Chamberlain's New Gig... CIT in Ch. 11...

Former Stride Rite chief starts own firm.

CIT in Chapter 11: Now that factoring giant CIT Group has officially filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Manhattan federal court, footwear execs said they don’t expect any major disruptions to business. However, the bankruptcy process is always filled with unknowns, and a reorganization has the potential to reduce retailer inventories, execs said. “I don’t think it will interfere with business in any significant way,” said Chinese Laundry CEO Bob Goldman. “[The factoring unit of the company] is a profitable business. They do have a bigger debt load than a year ago, but their profits are there.” Still, Weyco Group Inc. Chairman and CEO Tom Florsheim Jr. said CIT’s new status could hamstring the flow of merchandise into retail stores. “They’ve been struggling [for a long time], so some of their ability to factor is reduced, and nobody is sure how the bankruptcy is going to affect that,” he said. “For vendors, [it could] hamper the amount they’ll ship to retailers who are a credit risk. So it might have an effect on how much merchandise retailers can bring into stores.” — WAYNE NIEMI

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