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BEN FRANKLIN RETAIL STORES, INC. AND FAY'S INCORPORATED ANNOUNCE AN AREA AGREEMENT FOR TWO FRANCHISED BEN FRANKLIN CRAFTS SUPERSTORES IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

 CAROL STREAM, Ill., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a joint announcement today, Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFRS) and Fay's Incorporated (NYSE: FAY) announced that Fay's has signed an area development agreement under which Fay's will open two franchised Ben Franklin Crafts superstores in upper New York state.
 The development territory covers a three-county area, including Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Fay's intends to open its first Ben Franklin Crafts superstore adjoining its Fay's Drug Store located in the Stateway Plaza, Watertown, New York. The crafts store will occupy 14,300 square feet. Grand opening is scheduled for May, 1993.
 Ben Franklin Crafts superstores sell an extensive line of crafts products, including floral, fabric, wearable art, custom framing and framing supplies, hobby products and models, paints, art supplies, yarns and sewing products.
 "We are excited about our entry into the growing retail crafts industry," stated David H. Panasci, Fay's president and chief operating officer. "We look forward to our new relationship with this well- respected franchise company."
 The co-chairmen of Ben Franklin, Abbey J. Butler and Melvyn J. Estrin, said that including this agreement with Fay's, Ben Franklin has signed agreements for the opening of 95 franchised crafts superstores over the next seven years, including 24 crafts superstores opened to date. "We are encouraged by Fay's interest in this retail concept we have created, which brings to crafts retailing the merchandising selection and customer-service demanded by today's consumer. We see this agreement as providing synergistic benefits and opportunities to both companies."
 Fay's operates 248 drug stores in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont. In addition, Fay's operates 34 Paper Cutter stores in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and 31 Wheels Discount Auto Supply Stores in the state of New York.
 Ben Franklin Retail Stores, Inc., is franchisor to 686 variety stores and 249 crafts stores in 47 states. In addition, the company also owns and operates 10 Ben Franklin Crafts superstores.
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: John Menzer, executive vice president, Ben Franklin Retail Stores, 708-462-6312; or David H. Panasci, president and chief operating officer, Fay's Incorporated, 315-451-8000/
 (BFRS FAY)


CO: Ben Franklin Retail Stores Inc.; Fay's Incorporated ST: Illinois; New York IN: REA SU:

BM -- CL012 -- 3009 04/05/93 11:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 5, 1993
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