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Retail Briefs

Shareholders to Vote on Merger

Shareholders for Federated Department Stores and May Co. will meet separately on July 13 to vote on the proposed merger of the companies.

May shareholders will meet at 10 a.m. (Eastern) at The Pierre Hotel in New York. Federated shareholders will meet an hour later at the company's Cincinnati headquarters.

Under the terms of the agreement, May shareholders will receive $17.75 in cash and 0.3115 shares of Federated stock for each share of May stock they own. Stock held by Federated shareholders will not be affected, according to the company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Following the merger, May's former stockholders will own an estimated 97 million shares of common stock, or 36 percent.

Survey: Online Retailing on the Rise

Among 137 retailers questioned, 2004 online sales rose 23.8 percent to $89 billion, representing 4.6 percent of total retail sales, according to The State of Retailing Online 8.0, an annual Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research.

The report predicts that online sales (including travel) will rise 22 percent to $172.4 billion this year. Sales excluding travel are expected to reach $109.6 billion.

The study predicts that several retail categories will see steep growth this year due to the growing acceptance of online shopping by women. Online sales of cosmetics and fragrances are expected to grow 33 percent while sales of over-the-counter medications and personal care will rise 32 percent. Additionally, sales of jewelry and luxury goods (31 percent) and flowers, cards, and gifts (30 percent) are expected to rise dramatically.

Family Dollar Hands Out Promotions

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. has promoted Barry Sullivan to senior vice president, store operations, and Michael Vickers to vice president, store operations.

Sullivan began his career with Family Dollar in September 2002 as vice president, store operations. Prior to joining Family Dollar, he held a variety of posts with a regional drug store chain.

Vickers began his career with Family Dollar in October 2002 as regional vice president. Prior to joining Family Dollar, he also held different positions with a regional drug store chain.

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