Discount retailer Bradlees Inc., which operates in seven Northeast states, announced that it's going out of business, with all 105 stores expected to close within eight weeks. The shutdown will put almost 10,000 employees out of work. The company was founded in New London, Conn., in 1958 and now is based in Braintree, Mass. New competition, a general economic downturn, and higher heating costs were cited as reasons for closing. Bradlees has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York. Remaining inventory will be sold to Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC.
Nestle confirmed it was in talks with General Mills to buy out that company's share in their joint ice-cream venture, which sells the Haagen-Dazs brand in North America. General Mills had inherited a 50 percent stake in Ice Cream Partners when it made a $10.5 billion deal last July to acquire Pillsbury. The joint venture, which was set up in August 1999, has annual sales of $600 million. The buyout deal was reported by the Financial Times to be worth about $650 million.
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