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Retail Briefs

Bon-Ton Ups Fourth Quarter Net

The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. last week reported net income of $26.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, compared to prior year net income of $24.4 million. For the 12 months ended Jan. 29, the company reported net income of $20.2 million compared to $20.6 million for the prior year.

The company has entered into a transition agreement with Tim Grumbacher, chairman of the company's board and its former CEO, that calls for Grumbacher — who stepped down when Bud Bergren was appointed CEO in August 2004 — to serve as the company's executive chairman of the board and as a member of the executive committee of the board.

Jo-Ann Nets $46 million in Fiscal '05

Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. reported that net income for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29 increased 15.2 percent to $46.2 million versus $40.1 million in fiscal 2004. Net income for the fourth quarter increased to $32.4 million compared to $26.7 million in the prior year.

Net sales for fiscal 2005 increased 4.5 percent to $1.81 billion from $1.73 billion in 2004. Fiscal year 2005 same-store net sales increased 3.2 percent versus 3.6 percent in the prior year.

Lowe's Lays Out Expansion Plans

Lowe's Companies Inc. this year will open about 150 stores, expanding into new and existing markets as well as entering the last two of the 50 states where it does not currently have a presence.

The expansion strategy focuses on metropolitan markets. The company entered 2004 with 28 major market units and now has stores in the country's top 25 markets.

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