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Federated’s Sale of Lord & Taylor Approaches

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Federated Department Stores Inc. is close to signing a deal to sell its Lord & Taylor chain to private-equity player Apollo Real Estate Advisors and shopping center developer NRDC Real Estate Advisors for approximately $1.2 billion, according to a report by The Associated Press. The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal could be announced as early as this week, though it still requires a final nod from Federated.

Federated, which purchased Lord & Taylor when it acquired May Department Stores Co. last year, announced this past January that it was putting Lord & Taylor up for sale, opting instead to focus all expansion plans on the larger Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s chains. At the time, Federated said it would sell the 55-store Lord & Taylor chain as a whole operation.

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Rite Aid Rumored to Be Eying Eckerd

BY CSA STAFF

Harrisburg, Pa., According to a Credit Suisse analyst, Rite Aid Corp. could be considering a purchase of some of Jean Coutu Group Inc.’s Eckerd stores if the chain decides to divest the mid-Atlantic and southeastern U.S. units.

Analyst Edward Kelly estimates the probability of such a deal at 25%. Further deterioration of Longueuil, Quebec-based Jean Coutu’s financial situation could increase the odds, according to Kelly.

Although neither Jean Coutu or Rite Aid has responded to the speculation, Rite Aid has said it will participate in ongoing industry consolidation.

Kelly estimated that the 729 Eckerd stores could be sold for $700 to $800 million.

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Retailers Get Ready for Father’s Day

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Major retailers are turning their attention to Father’s Day (June 18).

By expanding shopping hours and advertising earlier and more aggressively for dad’s special day, which has lagged behind Mother’s Day in the past, merchants are hoping to give the day a big sales boost.

According to the National Retail Federation’s survey of 7,000 consumers, shoppers plan to spend $9 billion on Father’s Day gifts, up from a planned $8.2 billion a year ago. Among the retailers actively promoting Father’s Day this year is Sears, Roebuck and Co. The company dispatched caroling dads who sang holiday jingles with Father’s Day themes at malls in the New York and Chicago area. It broke its Father’s Day ad campaign three weeks earlier than a year ago and is offering a special Father’s Day gift card for the first time.

Home Depot Inc. has also expanded its Father’s Day advertising beyond circular advertising this year, launching a television and on-line advertising campaign. Additionally, J.C. Penney Co. is opening its doors at 8 a.m. on June 17, an hour earlier than a year ago. This is a part of an effort to expand sales beyond ties and shirts to such items as iPod accessories and hand-held games.

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