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Federated Completes Merger With May

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Federated Department Stores announced it has completed its merger with The May Department Stores Co., forming a company with more than 1,000 stores and $30 billion in annual sales.

“Two great organizations have come together and we see tremendous opportunity ahead,” said Terry Lundgren, Federated’s chairman and CEO.

Federated said it will operate all of May’s stores under their existing nameplates at least through the end of the year. Next fall, it plans to convert most May locations to its Macy’s banner. The company reiterated a promise that there will be no job cuts or layoffs before March 1.

The company also added an additional seven stores (in California, New York and Massachusetts) to its previously announced list of 68 stores that it plans to divest. Together, the 75 stores identified for divesture accounted for approximately $2.1 billion in 2004 sales.

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Hurricane Katrina Boosts Home Depot Sales

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta, The Gulf Coast monster hurricane that is buffeting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama has provided an unasked-for lift to sales at The Home Depot and its top competitor, Lowe’s. Consumers in the three hardest-hit states, as well as in Florida, have stocked up on plywood and safety supplies such as flashlights and batteries.

Sales are anticipated to track well after Hurricane Katrina passes through, as consumers begin to rebuild homes, businesses and other properties damaged by the storm. But the storm’s full effect on sales depends in part on how much damage the stores themselves suffer and how long they will be closed.

About a dozen Home Depot stores from New Orleans to Pensacola, Fla., are closed. About 10 Lowe’s stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are closed.

Both chains have command centers in full operation, and safety inspectors will begin walking through stores tonight, as possible, to inspect for damage and to provide reopening recommendations.

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New CFO at Office Depot

BY CSA STAFF

Delray Beach, Fla., Patricia A McKay, who has served on the board of Office Depot since May 2004, has been named CFO. McKay, who resigned her board position with the appointment, replaces Charles E, Brown. In April, Brown was appointed president, international, of Office Depot. He had continued as interim CFO while the company searched for a replacement. McKay previously served as executive VP/CFO of Restoration Hardware.

In other news, Office Depot today pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross for the relief of persons affected by Hurricane Katrina.

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