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VALUE MERCHANTS ANNOUNCES DECEMBER SALES RESULTS

 MILWAUKEE, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Value Merchants, Inc. (NYSE: VMI), a Milwaukee-based national retailer and wholesaler of close-out merchandise, reported total sales for the five-week and 48 week periods ended Jan. 2, 1993 increased 62.6 percent and 54.8 percent respectively over sales for the same periods a year ago.
 The following table summarizes the company's sales performance:
 NET SALES - TOTAL OPERATIONS
 (In Millions)
 Five Weeks Ended
 Jan. 2, 1993 Jan. 4, 1992 Pct. Increase
 $93.3 $57.4 62.6
 Forty Eight Weeks Ended
 Jan. 2, 1993 Jan. 4, 1992 Pct. Increase
 $344.6 $222.5 54.8
 NET SALES - RETAIL OPERATIONS
 PERCENTAGE INCREASE FROM PRIOR YEAR
 Everything's A $1.00
 No. of Stores Percent Increase
 1992 1991 December 48 Weeks
 Comparable Stores 101 101 (3.7) (2.2)
 Total Stores 430 206 86.9 97.3
 Toy Liquidators
 No. of Stores Percent Increase
 1992 1991 December 48 Weeks
 Comparable Stores 89 89 3.2 (6.3)
 Total Stores 187 156 34.0 11.6
 Note: Comparable stores are all stores opened prior to Feb., 1991.
 Note: Included above in total 1992 stores are 20 temporary seasonal Everything's A $1.00 stores (compared to none in 1991) and 56 temporary seasonal Toy Liquidators stores (compared to 41 in 1991).
 "We are pleased with the solid improvement we achieved in our Toy sales for December, however, disappointed in our Everything's $1.00 store sales," stated Steven J. Appel, president and chief executive officer. "Our Toy sales reflect our efforts to improve our merchandise mix," he said. "Our EAD store sales were negatively impacted by the delays Value Merchants experienced in completing its financing initiatives earlier this year," Appel stated. "Our financing delay caused a compression in the new store opening schedule with 76 stores opening in the critical ten-week time frame ending the week before Christmas. This not only affected our total store sales, but also created difficulty in developing an appropriate merchandise assortment for the Christmas season in all stores including our comparable stores, and didn't allow our new store personnel sufficient operating experience to prepare for the Christmas season volume," he said. "Had we been able to accomplish our new store opening schedule as originally planned, we believe our sales results would have been different.
 "Our Christmas season sales will certainly result in a profitable fourth quarter, however, we expect to report a loss for fiscal 1992," Appel said.
 "Now that we have implemented our strategy and established market leadership in the dollar store niche," he said, "we intend to redirect our resources in 1993 from rapid expansion to improving the productivity of our existing operations."
 -0- 1/6/93
 /CONTACT: Gary I. Kastel, director of communications, Value Merchants, Inc., 414-274-2976/
 (VMI)


CO: Value Merchants, Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: REA SU:

BM -- CL011 -- 2384 01/06/93 17:06 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1993
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