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WestPoint: Kmart filing costs $11M

West Point, GA — WestPoint Stevens, a major supplier of Martha Stewart products, said it took an $11 million hit when Kmart filed for Chapter 11 protection.

As substantial as it is, the damage could have been much worse — indeed many industry observers expected the total to run much higher — given Kmart's big contribution to WestPoint sales. Chip Fontenot, president and coo, said on a conference call with investors that Kmart accounted for roughly 15 percent of all WestPoint's sales in 2001.

And the greater impact of the bankruptcy on the major mill remains unknown, said Fontenot. "We have to expect that our business will be affected going forward. But we still don't know how many stores will be closed, and that will certainly have a big impact." Fontenot emphasized that WestPoint "will continue to support Kmart as they work their way through bankruptcy."

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