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READING, PA-Within days of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the locally based Boscov’s department store chain has gotten key court approvals that will allow it to continue regular business operations as it prepares to close 10 locations. The motions granted by Judge Kevin Gross of the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware enable Boscov’s to tap into $250 million of debtor-in-possession financing from Bank of America.

In a news release, the locally based Boscov’s says the court approvals will allow it to “normalize” vendor relationships as it prepares for the back-to-school and holiday selling seasons, pay employee salaries and benefits and hire a liquidation firm. “The DIP facility will provide Boscov’s with adequate working capital to meet its ongoing financial obligations during the restructuring,” according to the release. The order comes just four days after Boscov’s filed for Chapter 11 protection.

“The approval of the first-day orders is an important step in the restructuring process,” Ken Lakin, chairman and CEO of Boscov’s, says in press release. “We will be working with our creditors and others to move forward quickly with the hope of filing a plan of reorganization by late October.”

Gross set Aug. 12 for an auction to select a liquidation firm, followed by a sale hearing on Aug. 14. Going-out-of-business sales at the 10 “underperforming” stores slated to close are expected to begin Aug. 15, according to the release.

The chain is closing two stores in the Philadelphia suburbs, one in Harrisburg, two in suburban Pittsburgh, three in the Baltimore area and one each in New Jersey and Virginia. Seven of those 10 stores were part of a February 2006 purchase of a 10-store Federated Department Stores portfolio. Founded in 1911, Boscov’s currently operates 49 stores, including 29 in Pennsylvania.

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