Retailing: Back on The Rack

Back on The Rack

Like a spendthrift consumer with too many credit cards, R.H. Macy went on a wild shopping spree in the 1980s. But after bingeing on several ill-timed and richly priced acquisitions, including two department-store chains that cost $1.1 billion, the 134-year-old New York City retailer found itself deep in debt, mired in an industry-wide slump and unable to pay its bills. The day of reckoning arrived last week when Macy's was forced to file for bankruptcy after one of its major creditors rejected a proposed buyout by CBS chairman Lawrence Tisch.

With the slate wiped clean, suppliers who were reluctant to extend...

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