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WORLD FOOT LOCKER HAS SIGNIFICANCE TO WOOLWORTH CORPORATION, SAYS SELLS

WORLD FOOT LOCKER HAS SIGNIFICANCE TO WOOLWORTH CORPORATION, SAYS SELLS
 NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Harold E. Sells, chairman and chief executive officer of Woolworth Corporation (NYSE: Z), the large, multinational retailer, said that the launch of the company's boldly conceived and executed World Foot Locker stores "has a most significant strategic importance to Woolworth Corporation."
 Speaking today at a press event held at the United Nations to announce the introduction of the chain, Sells said that he anticipates that the growth and development of the World Foot Locker format will have "enormous potential and important implications for the growth in revenues and earnings of Woolworth Corporation."
 Sells characterized the World Foot Locker format as "10,000 square feet of retailing excitement" and described it as offering a wide assortment of athletic footwear and apparel in a highly charged, high- tech atmosphere. The World Foot Locker concept is viewed by Sells as the next step in the evolution of the Foot Locker chain, which began in 1974 and today is operating in 11 countries with some 1,700 stores.
 The first World Foot Locker store is set to open next Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Raceway Mall in Freehold, N.J. A second store is scheduled for a December opening in the Northpark Mall in Dallas, and some eight-to-10 stores are expected to be opened over the next six-to- eight months.
 The ongoing growth strategy of the World Foot Locker chain calls for opening the stores "only in 'trophy' malls -- malls in whi stores would be replaced with a World Foot Locker store which is expected to do several times the volume of the Foot Locker store that it replaces. "We don't believe that it is unrealistic to anticipate that each World Foot Locker store has the potential to do as much as seven-to-eight times the amount of business as an average Foot Locker store," Sells concluded.
 Through the Foot Locker operation and such related formats as Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Athletic X-Press and Champs Sports, Woolworth Corporation today holds a "significant" share of the approximately $12 billion athletic footwear market. Sells noted that "although the double-digit growth that characterized the athetlic footware market through most of the eighties has slowed," he expects that the growth and development of the World Foot Locker chain will help to increase Woolworth Corporation's growing share of this market "at an even more-rapid rate."
 Sells also sees the World Food Locker format as representing factors that mark the latest step in the changing shopping habits of America.
 Tracing the evolution of shopping in the United States over the past 50 years, Sells noted the gradual progression from shopping in local downtown stores, to small shopping strips, to regional malls. He discussed two major occurrences as having taken place.
 One such occurrence is the growth and development of the specialty store, accompanied by a lessening of customer interest in the mall's historical "anchor," the department store. Appealing to today's time- pressed customer, specialty stores combine a narrowly focused yet deep merchandise assortment with knowledgeable and efficient customer service.
 In addition, Sells continued, this same time-pressed customer has shown an eagerness to include an element of pure entertainment in the shopping experience, as evidenced by the growth in malls of leisure- oriented facilities, such as movies, exhibitions, skating rinks and amusement parks. Pointing out its strong dramatic impact and entertaining appeal, Sells characterized the World Foot Locker format as "the next step in the development of the specialty store as a shopping destination, and the source of a new wave of excitement generating customer traffic which will benefit mall retailers and mall developers alike."
 New York-based Woolworth Corporation, with annual revenues of approximately $10 billion, operates nearly 8,900 stores, including almost 7,300 specialty stores and over 1,600 general merchandise stores, in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Australia.
 -0- 11/12/92
 /CONTACT: Frances E. Trachter of Woolworth Corporation, 212-553-2394/
 (Z) CO: Woolworth Corporation; World Foot Locker ST: New York IN: REA SU:


SM-LR -- NY002 -- 0235 11/12/92 14:14 EST
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Date:Nov 12, 1992
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