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CEO Leaves May Department Stores

BY CSA STAFF

St. Louis, Mo., May Department Stores Co. Chairman and CEO Gene Kahn resigned today. The company offered no explanation for the move, but said it wished him will in the future. John Dunham, currently president, was named acting chairman and CEO while the company searches for a replacement.

May’s board also elected Russell Palmer as lead director. James Kilts, also a director, will chair the search committee.

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Jo-Ann Stores Builds DC

BY CSA STAFF

Hudson, Ohio, Jo-Ann Stores plans to build a 700,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Opelika, Ala., to support the company’s growth in southern states, including Florida, Georgia and Texas. The site will mark the company’s third distribution center, with two others located in Visalia, Calif., and Hudson, Ohio. Jo-Ann will break ground for the new site in March 2005 and expects to begin shipping to stores in April 2006.

The company plans to open an additional 40 superstores across the country in 2005. Last year, the company opened 29 superstores as part of a strategic initiative to transition many of its retail outlets from traditional fabric stores to full-service craft and fabric superstores. The larger superstores generate, on average, almost four times the revenue of a traditional store.

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Serious Interest in Toys

BY CSA STAFF

Wayne, N.J., Toys “R” Us generated interest from a small group of bidders – down from about a dozen — who are interested in a buyout of the Wayne, N.J.-based company’s toy business, Reuters reported. Private equity company’s Apollo and Permira are expected to team with the toy chain’s former CEO Michael Goldstein with one bid. Toys “R” Us intends to sell its toy operations and focus on its faster-growing Babies R Us division.

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