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News In Brief

By CompiledLance Carden and Suman Bandrapalli / August 12, 1999



SOLDIER OF FORTUNE

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Lots of people can say they've dropped dough in St. Tropez, but how many can say they've had it returned? Well, a report from Italy says a wallet belonging to Giuseppe Fuggi - misplaced in the stylish French resort while Fuggi was serving with the Italian Army there in WWII - was recently restored to its owner. A French builder stumbled across it in the ruins of a house and handed it to a local newspaper, which tracked Fuggi down in Rome.

REPENTANT RETURN

Then there's Frieda Folsoms of Lodi, Calif. She had pretty much forgotten about the $500 she lost when her purse was stolen back in 1963. Then, late last month, an envelope stuffed with five $100 bills was delivered to her door. A note that was scrawled in shaky handwriting on the flap of the container read: "Sorry we took your money. We need it at the time."

US trade group releases ranking of specialty stores

The National Retail Federation has published the results of its annual survey of stores selling a single category of merchandise, or a few closely related categories traditionally found in large-department and general-merchandise stores. Apparel, accessories, furniture, toys, and sporting goods are among the categories included; building supplies and recreational vehicles are not. Total 1998 sales among the Top 100 specialty stores were $186 billion, up 13.5 percent from the previous year's $164 billion. In the rankings, based on sales figures, Toys R Us was No. 1 again, but its lead over Circuit City was cut substantially during the year. The Top 10, based on sales volumes (in millions):

1. Toys R Us $11.2

2. Circuit City 10.8

3. Best Buy 10.1

4. Limited 9.3

5. Gap 9.1

6. Office Depot 9.0

7. TJX 8.0

8. Staples 7.1

9. CompUSA 6.3

10. Venator Group 4.6

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society