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Domestics show spark at Filene’s Basement   

Columbus, Ohio – The recently streamlined home assortment at off-price chain Filene’s Basement rang in some positive comps during the second quarter, parent company Retail Ventures Inc. reported during its earnings conference call Monday evening.

“In home we’ve exited a number of businesses over the course of 2008, and the businesses we have stayed in – primarily luggage and domestics – have done very well,” said RVI president and ceo Heywood Wilansky. The domestics category was ahead more than 4% in comps and luggage was ahead in excess of 20% on a comp basis, he indicated.

Second quarter sales at 36-store Filene’s Basement fell 11.5%, however, to $102.6 million. Total corporate sales for edged down 1.0% to $459.8 million.

Filene’s comps, on the other hand were the RVI bright spot, up 1.4% -- compared to a 6.9% negative comp score by the footwear division, DSW.

For the three months ended Aug. 2, RVI recorded a net profit of $17.7 million or 36 cents per share. Year-to-date, the profit is $46.9 million or 93 cents per share.

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