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BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCES SEASONAL OPERATING LOSS FOR FIRST QUARTER

 BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCES SEASONAL
 OPERATING LOSS FOR FIRST QUARTER
 CAROL STREAM, Ill., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFRS) substantially impoved its results from operations for its first quarter ended June 30, 1992, according to Dale D. Ward, president and chief executive officer. The company reduced its seasonal loss from operations for its first quarter ended June 30, 1992 to $1.1 million from $1.6 million the prior year quarter. Net sales increased to $77.2 million from $76.1 million the previous year. The loss before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle related to FASB No.106 "Post-Retirement Benefits" improved 35 percent to ($.7) million ($.13 per share) compared to ($1.1) million ($.20 per share) for the first quarter ended June 30, 1992 and 1991, respectively.
 For the first quarter ended June 30, 1992, the company had a net loss of $.7 million ($.13 per share). As a result of the adoption of FASB No.106, the company incurred a net loss of $10.8 million ($1.96 per share) for the first quarter ended June 30, 1991 which included a $9.7 million ($1.76 per share) charge related to FASB #106.
 During the first quarter of fiscal 1993, the company opened the three new Ben Franklin Crafts superstores (two franchised stores and one company-owned and operated superstore). The company plans to open 23 additional new Ben Franklin Crafts superstores during the remainder of fiscal 1993 (18 franchised stores and five additional company-owned and operated superstores). The company has entered into agreements with respect to the opening of 58 franchised Ben Franklin Crafts superstores during the next five years, of which 11 franchised superstores have opened to date. The company believes that the backlog for franchised Ben Franklin Crafts superstores will continue to grow as a result of the success of its programs and the availability of many under retailed markets, Ward said.
 Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. is franchisor to 718 variety stores and 236 craft stores in 47 states. The company also owns and operates five Ben Franklin Crafts superstores.
 BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Statements of Consolidated Operations (Unaudited)
 and Summarized Balance Sheet Data (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 First quarter ended June 30: 1992 1991
 Income Statement Data:
 Net Sales $ 77,241 $ 76,107
 Total operating expenses 78,337 77,680
 Operating loss (1,096) (1,573)
 Other expenses 90 196
 Loss before income taxes and
 cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle (1,186) (1,769)
 Income tax benefit (469) (670)
 Loss before cumulative effect of
 change in accounting principle (717) (1,099)
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle -- (9,664)
 Net Loss $ (717) $ (10,763)
 Loss per share
 Loss before cumulative effect of
 change in accounting principle $ (.13) $ (.20)
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle -- (1.76)
 Net Loss $ (.13) $ (1.96)
 Average Common Shares Outstanding 5,500 5,500
 Summarized Balance Sheet Data: As of
 June 30, 1992 March 31, 1992
 Total Assets $115,696 $114,095
 Working Capital 47,759 47,158
 Long-Term Obligations
 Excluding Current Portion 503 587
 Stockholders' Equity 48,603 49,320
 -0- 7/16/92
 /CONTACT: John Manzer, executive vice president of Ben Franklin Retail Stores, 708-462-6312/
 (BFRS) CO: Ben Franklin Retail Stores Inc. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: ERN


TQ -- NY043 -- 9668 07/16/92 11:36 EDT
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Date:Jul 16, 1992
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