KKR, Blackstone, and other major lenders to Belk are in talks with the North Carolina-based department store chain to keep it out of bankruptcy, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company, its lenders and the private-equity firm Sycamore Partners are inching closer toward reaching an out-of-court deal, the report said, citing people familiar with the discussions. Belk did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. KKR, Blackstone, and Sycamore declined to comment. A deal is not guaranteed at this point, the Journal report cautioned, but it said Belk’s lenders have noted how the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process has proved difficult for a number of other retail chains during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some being forced to liquidate. Read more at CNBC.