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Retail Briefs

Boscov's Family Closes Acquisition

The Boscov family has reclaimed its eponymous chain. Boscov's Department Store LLC has sold most of the 39-unit retailer's assets to a family group in a $300 million deal approved by bankruptcy court. The group was led by Albert Boscov and Edwin Lakin, who both retired from active leadership in 2006. Kenneth Lakin, who is Lakin's son and Albert Boscov's nephew, has been ceo since 2001. Albert Boscov, son of founder Solomon Boscov, said, "I am thrilled to be once again heading the company that I spent 50 years building along with a tremendous team of co-workers whose commitment has been immeasurable."

Dollar General Sharply Cuts Loss

Dollar General cut its third-quarter net loss to $7.3 million from $33.0 million in the same period last year. Sales of $2.6 billion grew 12.4%; comps rose 10.6%, with customer traffic and average transaction each contributing. Richard Dreiling, who joined Dollar General as ceo last January, was named chairman of the board; he will continue as ceo as well.

Home Alive in Fred's Q3 Profit

Neighborhood discounter Fred's reported a 32% jump in Q3 net income, with earnings of $6.1 million, or 15 cents per share, on flat sales of $418.0 million. Comps rose 1.4%. While home is considered a downtrending, discretionary category at Fred's, some home textiles aspects have remained resilient into the fourth quarter. The company said sheets andtowels continue to perform well, but singled out room-size rugs and bath accessories as slower sellers.

Ikea-USA's 36th Store: Charlotte

Set for Feb. 18, the opening of a 356,000-square-foot store in Charlotte, N.C. will be the fifth Ikea in the Southeast and the 36th unit in the U.S. Other Southeastern stores are in Atlanta; Woodbridge, Va.; Orlando and Sunrise, Fla. – with a location in Tampa prepping for a summer 2009 opening.

Filene's Basement, RVI Profits Sag

Earnings were sharply down at off-pricer Retail Ventures Inc. in the third quarter, due in part to slower sales at Filene's Basement. RVI income from continuing operations (not including the Value City spinoff) was $8.0 million, or 16 cents per share, a fraction of the $82.4 million, or $1.45 earnings one year ago. Total sales rose 5.9% to $503.5 million, but sales at 36-store Filene's fell 8.0% to $112.2 million. Still, Filene's comps were off just 1.0%, vs. a 4.1% comp drop at DSW, the footwear unit, which provides most RVI volume..

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