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BALDWYN, MS-Following management’s announcement that it will close 104 stores, Hancock Fabrics has now filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Executives are making the move to “improve the company’s operating performance, reduce its secured debt over time, close underperforming locations,” says a company statement.

Hancock has arranged $105 million in debtor-in-possession financing with Wachovia Bank. The retailer is also trying to secure a loan of $17.5 million with another lender.

“It allows us to focus our attention and resources entirely on further improving our better-performing stores and right-sizing our back-office operations and distribution center,” says Jane Aggers, president and CEO.

The 104 stores that management is shutting are on top of 30 units it had announced last month for closures. This latest round of shut stores will leave the retailer with about 270 units across the country.

Hancock’s same-store sales fell 4% year over year through January, its latest-reported financial term. Fourth-quarter sales fell to $111.7 million, from $118.3 million during the same year-ago period, while same-store sales fell 4.9% over that time.

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