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May Buys Modern Tuxedo Assets

June 30, 2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The May Department Stores Co. has added to its bridal and formal wear business by purchasing the assets of Modern Tuxedo. Terms of the cash transaction, announced Monday, were not disclosed.

St. Louis-based May will operate Modern Tuxedo stores as part of its Bridal Group, which includes David’s Bridal, After Hours Formalwear, and Priscilla of Boston.

Modern Tuxedo is the leading tuxedo rental and sales retailer in Chicago and its suburbs, with annual sales of about $12 million at 25 stores. Gerry Avi will continue as president of Modern Tuxedo. Owner Peter Abruzzo will serve as a consultant.

The addition contributes to May’s goal of developing a national bridal/formal wear chain, said Robert Huth, who heads the Bridal Group.

``The synergy between David’s Bridal and After Hours is at core of our ability to establish an enduring relationship with the engaged couple, providing merchandise and services for the wedding event,″ he said.

The company hopes the relationship extends beyond the wedding ceremony, May chairman and chief executive Gene Kahn said.

``The links between our Bridal Group businesses and our department stores’ wedding registries are key to attracting many young-adult customers into our department stores,″ he said.

May operates 447 department stores under the names Lord & Taylor, Famous-Barr, Filene’s, Foley’s, Hecht’s, Kaufmann’s, L.S. Ayres, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, Strawbridge’s and The Jones Store. The company has 188 David’s Bridal stores, 238 After Hours Formalwear stores and 10 Priscilla of Boston stores.

May has opened eight David’s Bridal stores and three After Hours Formalwear stores in 2003. The company plans to open 22 additional David’s Bridal stores, 12 After Hours stores, and two Priscilla of Boston stores through the rest of the year.

May shares were down 13 cents to close at $22.36 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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