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May Dept. Co. Buys Marshall Field's

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(photo from target.com)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis-based May Department Stores said Wednesday it will by the Marshall Field's chain from Target Corp. for $3.2 billion.

The deal will boost May's Midwest presence by adding 62 stores, mostly in Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The deal also includes nine Mervyn's stores in Minnesota.

Marshall Field's will stay as its own separate division and keep its name, but May CEO Gene Kahn said in a Thursday morning conference call that it's also a chance to make all May stores more upscale. "We intend to bring our best idea to Field's to help them prosper, and conversely to learn from their upscale business and apply it to all of our stores over a period of time."

May is already one of the biggest department store companies in the country. It owns a number of chains, including Lord & Taylor and Famous-Barr, as well as David's Bridal and After Hours Formalwear stores.

Target Corporation had said in March that it would review its options for Marshall Field's, which has been turning profits, but not like its flagship Target stores.

Marshall Field's revenue grew 4% in the first quarter of 2004, but Target saw a jump of 14%.

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