Steve & Barry's Files for Bankruptcy

Discount retail chain blames tough economy for financial woes.

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The discount retail chain Steve & Barry's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday, citing rising costs and a tighter credit market as cause for its collapse. According to some analysts, other sources of doom included the chain's rapid expansion, poor marketing strategy, and reliance on expensive licensing contracts with celebrities such as actress Sarah Jessica Parker and professional basketball player Stephon Marbury.

The store—also known as that place on some campuses where you can buy really cheap gear 10 minutes before the game to match the rest of the fans—is in the process of eliminating 172 staff positions and, according to the Wall Street Journal last week, could close 100 of its 276 stores. Since the bankruptcy announcement, the individual stores are still awaiting word on their future, Michigan State's State News reports, while the company assures that it is "business as usual" for the time being.

The retailer's troubles were presaged by the University of Michigan's recent decision to not renew its licensing contract with the company and also by a Wall Street Journal article weeks ago that reported that Steve & Barry's had fallen behind on many of its payments, including $20,326 in advertising money owed to the Michigan Daily.