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Let’s Talk Cellular Files Chap. 11

Cellular phone specialty chain Let’s Talk Cellular and Wireless filed for Chapter 11 protection today stating that it had exhausted its working capital and fallen $52 million in debt.

The company filed for protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and plans to make major changes to return to profitability, said founder and CEO Brett Beveridge. Store closing and layoffs were not mentioned, but the chain intends to continue operating in high traffic shopping malls and will not cut back on the number of SKUs carried by each location, he added.

The company, which operates 259 stores in 21 states, lost its sales-oriented focus last year, Beveridge said, but instead concentrated on integrating new acquisitions.

Let’s Talk and its sibling retail operations, Telephone Warehouse, Cellular Unlimited and Cellular Warehouse, are operating normally today, primarily due to the influx of $15 million debtor in possession financing commitment arranged by Chase Manhattan bank. These funds enabled the company to restock its stores and meet other financial obligations.