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Retail briefs

Federated announces new The Bon Marché

Federated has announced the construction of a new The Bon Marché store at the Redmond Town Center, an outdoor shopping center in Redmond, WA. The new 110,000-square-foot facility will be a two-level, full-line department store offering moderate and better apparel, accessories and home merchandise. Construction is slated to begin spring 2002 with the store opening in fall 2003.

Kmart steps up BlueLight Always price reduction campaign

Kmart is turning up the heat on its BlueLight Always program, the competitive pricing program under which it has reduced prices on 30,000 products as of last week. The company will heighten awareness of the program with a national ad campaign, a redesigned circular and a new in-store counter near the store entrance calling out BlueLight Always specials.

Rag Shops names Gerstel president

Rag Shops has hired Jeffrey Gerstel to serve as president and coo. Most recently, he was executive vp/coo for The Parts Plus Group Inc., an automotive products distributor and retailer. Previously, he was executive vp of Family Bargain Corporation, the off-price retail apparel and housewares chain that has since changed its name to Factory 2-U Stores. Stanley Berenzweig will continue to service as chairman and ceo of Rag Shops.

Stein Mart lowers forecast

With third-quarter sales so far "substantially below expectations," Stein Mart forecast a shortfall in third quarter earnings and revised its fiscal year guidance. The 239-unit off-pricer was forced to increase marketing costs and pump markdowns in order to lift comps from negative in July to slightly positive in August. As a result, the company expects third quarter earnings to slip below analysts' estimates of a 2 cent loss to a 1 cent share.

Wal-Mart's UK president jumps ship

Paul Mason, president of Wal-Mart's Asda operation in the United Kingdom, has left to become the chief at British off-price apparel retailer Matalan PLC. Previously coo of the supercenter chain, he was appointed president earlier this year. Currently, day-to-day operations in the United Kingdom will fall to David Ferguson, president and ceo of Wal-Mart Europe.

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