Thursday, December 4, 2008

S&P Downgrades Saks and Charming Shoppes

Saks Inc. Downgraded To 'B' On Anticipated Weak Fourth Quarter

NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its ratings on New York City-based luxury retailer Saks Inc. to 'B' from 'BB-'. The outlook is stable.

"The rating change reflects our belief that the company will be more challenged than previously expected by the current weak economic environment in the U.S. and the turmoil in the financial markets," explained Standard & Poor's credit analyst Diane Shand.

In addition, credit measures will likely deteriorate more than we had originally projected as a result of a deepening spending pull-back by consumers. "Credit measures deteriorated significantly in the third quarter," added Ms. Shand, "and are not likely to begin recovering until the second half of 2009."

Media Contact:
David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,
Analyst Contact: Diane Shand, New York (1) 212.438.7860

Charming Shoppes Inc. Downgraded To 'B-' As Credit Metrics Deteriorate
NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it lowered its corporate credit rating on Bensalem, Pa.-based Charming Shoppes Inc. to 'B-' from 'B.' We also lowered the rating on the company's senior unsecured debt to 'CCC+' from 'B-'. The recovery rating on this debt remains at '5', indicating expectations for modest (10%-30%) recovery of principal in the event of default. The outlook is stable.

"The downgrade is based on continued weak operating trends, which resulted in a sharp deterioration of credit metrics," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jackie E. Oberoi. Consumers' pull-back on spending, inadequate levels of new fashion, and company-specific merchandise misses have hurt its business.

(Charming Shoppes' first store (bottom left photo) opened in Philadelphia in 1940)

Media Contact: David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,

Analyst Contact: Jackie E Oberoi, New York (1) 212-438-2895

Bath & Beyond Inc.Ratings Unaffected By Announced Third-Quarter Earnings

NEW YORK, NY--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services says Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.'s (BBB/Stable/--) latest earnings announcement has no effect on the company's current credit rating or outlook.

The Union, N.J.-based retailer said that net earnings for the quarter ended Nov. 29, 2008, are now expected to range from 31 cents to 35 cents a share, a change from its previous forecast of 41 cents to 47 cents a share.

Operating lease-adjusted leverage at the end of its second quarter (ended Aug. 30, 2008) was 1.9x and given its earnings per share estimates, we expect leverage to be approximately 2.0x.

The company cited macroeconomic challenges and liquidation sales of a major competitor as the cause of the weaker-than-expected performance. We expect that these trends will continue in the fourth quarter, but credit metrics should remain in the low-2x area—still appropriate for the current rating category.

Media Contact: David Wargin, New York (1) 212.438.1579,

Analyst Contact: Charles Pinson-Rose, New York (1) 212.438.4944

Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Brokerage Supports the Central Florida 'Bigs'

Front Row, from left: Kim Brackett, Yelena Gurtovenko, Teresa Simmons, Alanna Hogan
Rear Row, from left: Nick Manson, Robin Webb, Amanda Hoffman, Gordon Hogan

Maitland Headquartered Commercial Real Estate Firm Helps Raise Money For Local Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida Chapter

MAITLAND, FL-– Maitland FL based Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT stepped up on Sunday November 2, 2008 to support the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization in Central Florida at its annual fund raising bowling event.

Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT entered two teams in the charity’s local Bowl for Kids Sake bowling tournament, which included many of metro Orlando’s most prominent companies.

The event took place at the Dowdy Pavilion, off International Drive and raised $35,456 for the charitable organization.

The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children (“Littles”), primarily from single parent homes, with positive role models (“Bigs”) to help mentor them as they grow. Currently, there are 225,000 youths in the program, nationally.

The Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Teams, which were organized by top producing sales professionals Kimberly Brackett (middle right photo) and Alanna Hogan, (middle right photo under Kim Brackett photo) scored big according to Vice President for Statewide Operations, Robin Webb. (top left photo).

“While our bowling scores were not big, the hearts of our Florida team certainly are!” noted Webb. “It is our honor for Coldwell Banker Commercial to be a national as well as local supporter of an organization like Big Brothers and Big Sister, which, quite literally, has the power to enhance the spirits and potential of an entire generation of youth.”

According to the website for the charity (, children served by the organization are 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to begin using alcohol, and 52% less likely to skip school in addition to being more confident of their performance in schoolwork.

Funds raised at a local level remain at a local level to serve children in the local community according to Jennifer Rider, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida is able to bring caring adults into the lives of hundreds of young people each year thanks in part to the generosity of individuals and corporations such as Coldwell Banker Commercial who actively participate in our Bowl for Kids Sake campaign.
The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Florida organization serves Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, and Brevard Counties. Donations raised through this year’s Bowl for Kids Sake will help the local chapter with:

• Recruiting new local Big Brother and Big Sister volunteers

• Covering the costs of background checks and insurance to ensure the “Littles” within the organization area matched to caring and responsible “Bigs”

• Offering one-to-one, ongoing supervision and support for every match

• Providing cultural and social activities to enrich the opportunities for children in the program

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the national singular charitable partner for the entire Coldwell Banker Commercial organization. The company and its national president and COO Rick Davidson have been recognized for their tireless support of the organization over the past several years.

About Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT

Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT operates in 17 states as the commercial real estate arm of NRT Incorporated, a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation.

Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT is part of the Coldwell Banker Commercial system, which has more than 450 commercial real estate offices and nearly 3,900 sales associates throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Coldwell Banker Commercial is an industry leader in providing commercial real estate solutions that serve the needs of tenants, landlords, sellers and buyers in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and management of all property types.

For additional information, visit the company’s website at

NRT Incorporated, a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation is the nation's largest real estate brokerage company. NRT, LLC has nearly 1,000 offices and 59,000 sales associates operating in over 35 major metropolitan areas.

For further Information:
Robin L. Webb, Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, 407-571-5555