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 ASHTABULA, Ohio, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Carlisle Retailers, Inc. has finalized an agreement with Norwest Bank Minnesota, N.A., the nation's 14th-largest bank holding company, for a $5-million line of credit that will provide additional working capital to finance continuing business operations and inventory purchases while the company works to develop a plan of reorganization.
 A final order approving the credit agreement was entered yesterday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William T. Bodoh in Youngstown, Ohio, where the company filed its voluntary petition for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 15. An interim approval of the agreement was granted by Bodoh on Oct. 28.
 "We're extremely pleased to have concluded this agreement because it will provide us with the working capital we need to make sure our stores are fully stocked with the most popular merchandise for the upcoming holiday shopping season," commented Lorenzo T. Carlisle III, chairman and chief executive officer. "It's certainly great news for our customers, but it's also a very clear message to our suppliers, our business associates and our friends that we are committed to overcoming our short-term financial problems and remaining a solid, viable and dependable organization for a long, long time."
 Carlisle's, which has been in business for 125 years, filed for Chapter 11 protection last month when its previous lender declined to make available the unused portion of the company's credit line after slumping sales contributed to an overall operating loss through the first seven months of 1993. The bank's action came at a critical time of the year, just as the retailer was about to start making its holiday purchases.
 "We regard the Norwest credit agreement and the Court's approval as an extremely significant positive step toward strengthening the company's position and enhancing its ability to proceed with all of the purchases, merchandising and promotional activities necessary to make this a successful holiday shopping season," Carlisle said. "That's obviously important to all of us because a successful season will help position us to prepare and present a reorganization plan to the Court and the creditors that much sooner."
 All 14 of the Carlisle's stores in Ohio and western Pennsylvania have remained opened since the company filed last month, and the vast majority of the company's vendors have continued supplying merchandise.
 In 1992, Carlisle Retailers, Inc., posted net earnings of $650,000 on sales of $44,457,000. The company has been consistently profitable in recent years, with the exception of 1990 when it sustained a $114,800 loss.
 Carlisle's stores are located in the Ohio cities of Alliance, Ashtabula, Boardman, Chardon, Fairlawn, Madison, Medina, Niles, North Canton and Painesville. It operates two stores in Erie, Pa., and one in Meadville, Pa. The company's corporate headquarters are in Ashtabula.
 -0- 11/11/93
 /CONTACT: Andrew Juniewicz of William Silverman & Company, 216-696-7750, for Carlisle Retailers/

CO: Carlisle Retailers, Inc. ST: Ohio IN: REA SU: FNC

KL-AR -- CL023 -- 3381 11/11/93 16:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 11, 1993

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