JONES SETS 2002 STORE COUNT

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Jones Apparel Group Inc. plans to open 15 to 20 retail locations and close between 30 and 40 sites this year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday.
The projections are similar to year-ago estimates of 10 to 15 store openings and 35 to 50 closures. It could not be determined how many were actually opened and closed during 2001.
In its Form 10-K filing — the annual report — Jones said as of Dec. 31 it operated 420 specialty stores, with 411 in the U.S. and 9 in Canada. In addition, 24 retail sites were operating in Australia under the Nine West name through a joint venture with a local partner. In the U.S. and Canada, just 13 of the sites were apparel stores and the remainder were footwear, with 210 operating under the Nine West name.
Jones also operates 524 outlet stores, with 511 in the U.S. and 13 in Canada. The joint venture includes 4 outlets in Australia. In the U.S. and Canada, 84 operated under the Jones New York nameplate; 21 under Jones New York Sport; 45 Jones New York Country; 29 apparel sites selling other brands within the Jones family, and the balance were footwear stores.
The company also said in the 10-K that no single retailer customer accounted for more than 10 percent of its sales in 2001, although some customers are under common ownership. The May Department Stores Co. represented 16 percent of sales and Federated Department Stores Inc. accounted for 15 percent. For Jones, the 10 largest customer groups accounted for a total of 62 percent of sales last year.
Jones ended the year with 12,175 full-time and 4,515 part-time employees.

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