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Dow Jones reports that Fleming Cos.’s stock price and bonds took a beating on Wednesday as the markets worried about the possibility that the company might file for bankruptcy protection.

There also were concerns, according to published reports, that vendors might begin changing their payment terms for Fleming, as well as cutting back on shipments to the company until its finances are straightened out.

“Industry observers warn that any pullback by vendors could snowball into a ‘retail death spiral,’” Dow Jones reports, noting that vendors are anxious to avoid a Kmart scenario in which they are caught off-guard by a bankruptcy filing.
KC's View:
Clearly, there’s smoke. But is there fire?

We have to tell you that we had no fewer than a half-dozen phone calls yesterday advising us that a Fleming bankruptcy filing was practically imminent.

We don’t know if there is smoke and fire. But we’re keeping the fire extinguisher close at hand…