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said Tuesday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and would sell its inventory to a consortium led by Boston-based

Gordon Brothers Retail Partners


The news was announced after the close of trading Tuesday. Bradless shares ended the day at 22 cents.


halted trading on the announcement.

The troubled, Braintree, Mass.-based retail chain had been in talks with lenders, and published reports had indicated the company was considering bankruptcy and liquidation.

Bradlees said it will begin phasing out its headquarters and distribution functions this week.

The company operates 105 stores and three distribution centers in seven Northeast states with 9,800 employees and sales of $1.5 billion in 1999.