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BIKE RIDING: In another move to add branded merchandise, Montgomery Ward has introduced an exclusive line of women’s and men’s activewear under the Bike label.
Bike Athletic Co. has agreed to supply Ward’s 380 stores with between 40 to 50 different items, including T-shirts, tank tops, jersey shorts, nylon shorts, windsuits, Lycra spandex bike shorts and jackets.
A separate line of children’s apparel and sports watches will be introduced in the fall. Bike is best known as a supplier for team sports and is generally not available in mass market stores.
Bernard F. Brennan, chairman and chief executive officer, said the addition of Bike apparel is part of the retailer’s “brand strategy.”
Ward’s, as reported, will roll out an exclusive, lower-price OshKosh B’Gosh children’s wear line later this year under the label, “Our Stuff by OshKosh B’Gosh.”

BOTTOM-LINE BITE: Jamesway Corp. said Tuesday its aggressive inventory reduction program last year contributed to an operating loss of $20 million for the year ended Jan. 28. The 70-store discounter lost $15 million the previous year.
Jamesway, based in Secaucus, N.J., said the inventory reduction program was successful in eliminating $35 million in obsolete and discontinued merchandise, but hurt the bottom line. The retailer emerged from Chapter 11 last month.
Herbert Douglas, president and chief executive officer, said the intensive markdown program was needed. “Jamesway’s present inventory is clean, attractive and marked at realistic prices, which puts us on an equal playing field with our competition,” he said in a statement.

CREDIT FOR CALVERT’S: Calvert’s Inc., a four-unit discounter in New England, has received an extension of its bank credit line through May 30, according to a credit industry source.
Baybank, in Burlington, Mass., extended Calvert’s line to give the retailer’s financial consultants, Arthur Andersen & Co., more time to come up with a plan to turn around the troubled company, the source added.
Calvert’s, based in Westborough, Mass., had annual sales of $34 million in 1994. Its units are in Needham, Shrewsbury, Tewksbury and Hanover, Mass.

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