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Hancock Fabrics to Close 50 Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Baldwyn, Miss., Hancock Fabrics announced Friday that it plans to close 50 stores this year, representing $32 million in annual sales and approximately $3 million in operating losses.

The troubled retailer also said it will delay reporting its 2005 results as it re-inventories all stores, and that it may miss an April 13 filing deadline for its annual report.

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Hot Topic Exec Departs

BY CSA STAFF

City of Industry, Calif., Patricia Van Cleave, formerly the president of Hot Topic’s Torrid division, has resigned to pursue other interests, the company reported. Betsy McLaughlin will assume oversight for Torrid temporarily.

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Federated Projects First-Quarter Loss

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati, Federated Department Stores said it expects to post a loss in the fiscal first quarter amid weaker sales in existing stores. The company projects a loss of 5? to 15 cents per share in the quarter, on sales of between $5.75 billion to $6 billion. Same-store sales are expected to decline between half a percent to 1.5%.

Federated said it expects fiscal 2006 sales of $27.25 billion to $27.75 billion, with the largest portion coming in the second half of the year. Full-year same-store sales are expected to rise from 2% to 3%.

“The integration of Federated and May Company is on track and we are optimistic about the success of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s a national brands,” said Federated CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement. “Forecasting for 2006 with precision is particularly challenging because of the number of variables related to the integration. While 2006 is a transition year, we expect significant improvement in 2007 and a return to our historical peak levels of profitability, adjusted for the impact of the sale of credit portfolios, by the 2008-2009 period.”

Three new stores are planned to open in 2006, including a Bloomingdale’s in downtown San Francisco. The chain has budgeted capital expenditures at $1.6 billion for the year, followed by $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in subsequent years.

Federated’s Bridal Group and Lord & Taylor divisions, which the company intends to divest, are being treated as discontinued operations. They are excluded from sales and earnings guidance.

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