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Baker to Dispose of Fayva Footwear

September 6, 1995

CANTON, Mass. (AP) _ The retailer J. Baker Inc. plans to dispose of its Fayva shoe division, which operates a chain of 357 stores, because its results have been disappointing.

Jerry Socol, president and chief executive, said Tuesday the company would consider selling all or some of the Fayva division but is also prepared to close it. The division employs about 2,300 people across the country.

Baker acquired Fayva as part of its purchase of Morse Shore Inc. in early 1993. Baker said some of the Fayva stores will be converted for use by the its other retail divisions, which include Parade of Shoes, Casual Male Big & Tall and Work ’n Gear stores.

J. Baker would take a one-time restructuring charge to pay for disposing of the Fayva division. The amount of that third quarter charge will depend on how much is realized from disposing of Fayva inventory, leases and fixed assets.

Socol said when Baker bought Morse Shoe, it felt it could improve the operations of the Fayva division.

``Over the past 2 1/2 years, we have invested substantial time, money and management effort in the division. Unfortunately, the investment has not met our goals and has continued to yield disappointing results,″ he said in a statement.

The decision to dispose of Fayva serves the ``best long-term interests″ of Baker and its shareholders.

In addition to its branded stores, Baker operates 1,728 licensed footwear departments in discount department and specialty apparel stores.

Last month, J. Baker reported second quarter net income of $1.4 million, or 10 cents a share on sales of $273 million, compared with net income of $7.1 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $256 million for the second quarter of 1994.

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