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BRENDLE'S STORES, INC., ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF THIRTEEN OF ITS LEAST PROFITABLE STORES

 ELKIN, N.C., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Brendle's Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: BRDL) announced today the closing of thirteen of its least profitable stores. The stores are scheduled to close June 1, and include the Wilkesboro, Gastonia, Rocky Mount, Statesville, Charlotte stores in North Carolina; the Hilton Head, Charleston, Greenville and Aiken stores in South Carolina; the Lynchburg and Roanoke (Valley View Blvd.) stores in Virginia, and its Augusta, Ga., location. Approximately 520 store employees will be laid off as a result of these closings.
 These actions accomplish two primary objectives: first, closing these stores and liquidating their inventory will make available the funds necessary for the required partial payment of the company's pre-bankruptcy indebtedness, and sets the stage for a successful plan of reorganization. Second, these stores have not performed up to the company's expectations, and closing them will allow Brendle's to concentrate its efforts on the thirty "go-forward" stores whose potential is the greatest. The number of stores to be closed was influenced by the need to repay banks and creditors.
 Other significant organizational and cost structure changes will also be made to insure the operations are sized appropriately for a thirty store chain, and that the organization is the most efficient and effective one possible. A thirty percent reduction of corporate personnel expense will occur as a result of the store closings. In addition to management and corporate restructuring announced on April 14, approximately sixty-five positions will be eliminated at the headquarters in Elkin, N.C.
 These actions are being taken with the expert guidance of the company's financial advisors, Price Waterhouse, and its legal advisors at Allman Spry Humphreys Leggett & Howington, P.A. The company's banks and creditors fully support this effort and have enthusiastically endorsed the company's business plan.
 The company reported that its preliminary total chain-wide sales for the first quarter ended May 1 were $34.8 million. Same store sales for the period were $34.2 million compared with $37.0 million last year. The company fell short of last year's same store sales as a result of the severe March winter storms, which forced the closure of a substantial number of the company's stores, and an out-of-stock inventory position which was finally rectified by mid-April of this year. The company's same stores sales for the year-to-date period were 6.3 percent ahead of plan.
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Douglas D. Brendle, Chairman of the Board and CEO ,


919-526-6505, or Bill Grady, Senior Vice-President of Marketing & Advertising, 919-526-6513, both of Brendle's Stores, Inc./
 (BRDL)


CO: Brendle's Stores, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: RCN

CM-MM -- CH005 -- 2629 05/11/93 09:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1993
Words:440
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