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Retail Briefs

Hurricanes Don't Dampen Sales

September sales at furniture and home furnishings stores rose 1.2 percent adjusted from August and 9.3 percent unadjusted over last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Despite two hurricanes and high gas prices, the NRF stated, total retail industry sales for the month (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) rose 7 percent unadjusted over last year.

NRF expects retail industry sales to increase 5.6 percent this year over 2004. Holiday sales, which are defined as retail industry sales in the full months of November and December, are expected to rise 5 percent to $435.3 billion (for full story, see page 48.)

ISS Endorses Badger Deal For ShopKo

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended that ShopKo Stores, Inc. shareholders vote for the existing merger agreement with Badger Retail Holding, Inc., an affiliate of private equity investment firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison Incorporated.

In reaching its conclusion, ISS stated in a report: “We conclude that (ShopKo) shareholders have ultimately extracted a reasonable and fair value from Goldner Hawn.”

ISS noted the existence of a third-party competing bid for ShopKo, but still stated that it favored the Badger proposal which contemplates the acquisition of the company for $25.50 per share.

The shareholder vote meeting is scheduled for today. (Oct. 17)

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