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May Co., Hearst Magazines to co-market home line

Greensboro — Looking to further differentiate its home merchandise, The May Department Stores Co. has teamed up with Hearst Magazines to jointly market a collection of home merchandise under the House Beautiful trademark. Ranging from home decor to textiles to dinnerware, the collection will debut beginning in 2005, in all of May's full-line department stores.

"This alliance further positions our stores to stand out from the competition and, equally important, complements our Bridal Group and department store wedding registry businesses," Gene Kahn, chairman and ceo, announced at its annual meeting here.

The company also announced that three more lifestyle concept stores will also open this year — a Famous-Barr in Columbia, MO, a Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh, and a Meier & Frank store in Ogden, UT. The format, which debuted last year with three units, features a contemporary look, flexible merchandise presentations, upscale shopping carts and express checkout service.

Kahn also said its ease-of-shopping initiatives, such as less duplication of styles and vendors, better-edited merchandise selections, in-store merchandise presentations and less crowded selling floors were well received by customers.

"We will evolve to meet customers' needs and perceptions. There will always be a need in consumers' minds for department stores."

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