Bradlees Inc. has won court approval to increase the amount of cash available under its $200 million loan from Chase Manhattan Corp.

Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland approved the revision Wednesday, giving the discount retailer an extra $51 million to buy merchandise for Christmas.

Braintree, Mass.-based Brad-lees, which entered Chapter 11 in 1995, said it needed the cash after sales fell short of projections and vendors became concerned about shipping on credit.

The loan amendment, which gives Chase a $250,000 fee, expires Jan. 31.

Bradlees, active in the Northeast, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors in June 1995 after losing business to stronger competitors, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Dayton Hudson Corp.'s Target division. It has until Feb. 2 to file a plan to exit bankruptcy proceedings.

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