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Ames to close 32 locations

ROCKY HILL, CT -Discount retailer Ames Department Stores announced that it will close 32 stores, which will affect 2,000 employees in 13 markets, and result in a restructuring charge of up to $140 million in this year's fourth quarter.

"We are taking prompt corrective action now, so that we can be properly positioned for an improved year in 2001, despite the retail climate," said Joe Ettore, chairman and CEO.

Thirty-one of the stores to be closed were acquired through the purchase of Hills Stores Co. in December 1998.

"In a better retail climate, we could have given these stores more time to improve," Ettore said. "We feel, however, that it is in the company's best interest to put our efforts into proven stores and into promising new ones, such as those new urban locations doing so well in Chicago and Philadelphia. In addition to this initiative, we have chosen to only open five new stores next year, all in the first quarter."

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