The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 30, 1985 · Page 52
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 52

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 30, 1985
Page 52
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business 8-D Saturday. Nov. 30. 1985 nil I U 7 7 r iif&Rtt -'ri' i 111,1 ' , 1 ., I ! I nil ) hSmn TSS?: febl '71 'ff,-- 74t-- - i - - L V t; -:-.. I Fa JluavZt, ' 1 jfTtfS, ...' ' V f v - V ' I Y f T'Oifci ii .in r UK-',..''-' Though both hands are full, a shopper heads for John Wanamaker, ready to bag more Black Friday trophies $$$$ For merchants, a beautiful Black Friday By Jennifer Lin, Gregory R. Byrnes and Ewart Rouse fftijuirrr Halt W'tfrt From his checkpoint in the cosmetics department in the Center City John Wanamaker, Tyrone Conner yesterday watched the rushing stream of shoppers, flowing from one end of the store to the other. "It's just like the old days," beamed Conner, a company vice president who is In charge of operating the downtown store. "We have a lot of people in here and we have a buying crowd When you put those two things together, it makes for an outstanding day." Conner could have been speaking for many other retailers yesterday. Christmas shopping got off to a roaring start on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year and the official start of the holiday buying season. In Center City, the Black Friday crowds began building early in the day and remained strong until closing time. The pattern was a little different in the suburbs, however. In outlying malls, the day started out somewhat slower than in the city but had built to a crescendo by the afternoon. Just how busy was it? According to Peter Straw-bridge, president of Strawbndge & Clothier, the rush of early customers at the chain's downtown store was "extraordinary." Only 10 minutes after Straw- bridge & Clothier opened its doors at 10 a.m., a line of hundreds of people had already formed for the company's new "Christmas Carol" display. People stood in a queue that wrapped around the entire perimeter of the children's department. Security guards were called in to direct the traffic and inform shoppers that they might have to wait more than an hour to see the exhibit. "It's unbelievable," said Straw-(See SALES on 16-D) Wliy the name Black Friday? Uh... well . . . By Jennifer Lin Inquire- Stall Writer The caller wanted to know about retail sales at Hess's department store in Allentown on Black Friday. But the question touched a sensitive nerve for Irwin Greenberg, chairman of the chain. "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard." snapped Greenberg. Retail sales? No, he steamed, the term Black Friday. "Black Friday is a phrase that's sinful and it's disgusting," a perturbed Greenberg said. "Why would anyone call a day, when everyone is happy and has smiles on their faces, Black Friday?" he asked. Greenberg, a 30-year veteran of the retail trade, says it is a Philadelphia expression. "It surely can't be a merchant's expression," he said. A spot check of retailers from across the country suggests that Greenberg might be on to something. "I've never heard it before, (See NAME on 12-D) 7 f YA ML i vrti P. r ''J? ?.4 T : .r JRs. JrCK - 'A. "surf' f7 iigl$W:-X ft li Jugglers Keith Eveslage (top hat) and the Gallery, after giving a performance Eric Belcher (left) of Jenkintown in at Strawbndge & Clothier. Rorer buying Revlon units for $690 million By Larry' Fish On the biggest shopping day of the year. Rorer Group Inc. of Fort Washington announced that it had picked up the pharmaceuticals business of Revlon Inc. for S690 million in cash. The acquisition will nearly double Rorer's sales and make it a SI billion company. The boards of Pantry Pride Inc. which recently won Revlon in a $1.83 billion hostile takeover and Rorer reached a definitive agreement over Thanksgiving, Rorer president Rob-en E. Cawthorn said yesterday. The acquisition, expected to be completed early next year, will broaden Rorer's product lines and increase the introduction of new products, the company said. The Revlon units L'SV Pharmaceutical Corp., Armour Pharmaceutical Co. and two smaller, related units make prescription drugs primarily sold to office-based physicians, and drugs and other supplies for sales to hospitals. Cawthorn said the purchase fit well with the "strategic thrust" of Rorer to expand its healthcare business. "We have a good position in over-the-counter drugs ... but a pretty weak position in pharmaceuticals." Cawthorn said in a telephone interview. "We don't really have the existing product line, we don't have the marketing clout and we don't have the new product line to ensure our strategic thrust" without the purchase. Layoffs anticipated Rorer has about 6,000 employees worldwide, including about 1,100 in Fort Washington, Cawthorn said. When the 5.200 employees of the Revlon units are added, the company is likely to lay off "hundreds," he said, but he did not know which areas might be affected. "We're going to set up a transitional team to work on the merging of the two operations," he said, and to design the resulting organizational structure. "It's not going to be just Rorer people running it." Headquarters of the expanded company will remain in Fort Washington, Rorer said. Rorer's board decided to go ahead with the purchase even though a major stockholder filed suit Monday before an agreement was reached to block it. Shareholder's lawsuit Eugene C. Dooner Jr., who with his family owns about 400.000 shares or 2 percent of Rorer's stock, filed suit in U S. District Court in Philadelphia to block any attempt at the purchase and to strike down certain board actions he said were designed to limit shareholders' rights to consider tender offers for Rorer's stock. Cawthorn said the board decided to go ahead despite the suit because attorneys had advised them that "there was no basis for the suit and no reason not to proceed." Neither Dooner nor his attorney could be reached yesterday for comment. Rorer stock has jumped periodically during the last year on speculation that the company would be the target of a hostile takeover. The deal for the Revlon units, especially the debt incurred to make the purchase, is likely to make Rorer less vulnerable to a buy-out. Rorer stock fell 52.50 per share to close at $35 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Cawthorn said the purchase will hurt Rorer's earnings in the short term, but "by the third year, we should have all the costs behind us and all the benefits flowing to earnings" The $690 million purchase is to be financed through bank loans, he said, which were already arranged. Cawthorn suggested that the readiness of the financing was an important reason for Rorer's successful bid for Revion's pharmaceutical segment. Last week. ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif., said it was prepared to offer more than $700 million for the units but admitted that it had not ytt arranged financing. British pharmaceutical-maker Boots Co. PLC was also reported to be (See RORER on 11-D) Most steel from EEC is blocked By Carl Hartman AsuKmte4 Press WASHINGTON The Customs Service said yesterday that it had halted most steel imports from the Common Market because the 10-na-tion group has failed to give formal approval to a tentative agreement limiting European shipments. European approval of the Nov. 1 accord was held up because Britain wants assurances that it can ship at least 300,000 tons of unfinished steel next year to a plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., said a European source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said the British have an interest in the plant, which he did not identify. The Customs Service order prevents entry or release of European steel to the U.S. market, except for pipes and tubes. It took effect Thursday, but was little noted because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Stan Gustafson of the U.S. National Steel Fraud Program, a domestic industry group, calculated that of $1.5 billion worth of basic steel-mill products shipped to the United States from the Common Market this year, only $200 million worth was exempted by the Customs action. "We hope this measure will speed up the agreement," he said in an interview. The agreement would extend through September 1989 an accord that is due to expire by year-end. It slightly increases the shipments acceptable to the United States to 5.5 percent of the total VS. market, up from 5.4 percent. U.S. steel interests have criticized the agreement but still say it is important to the Reagan administration's steel program, which seeks to cut total imports from 25 percent to 18.5 percent of the U.S. market. Steel agreements have been made with 14 other countries. The American Iron and Steel Institute reported this week that more than 1.3 million tons of steel-mill products were imported in October, accounting for 17.3 percent of the domestic market. Nearly two million net tons of steel-mill products were imported during October 1984, representing almost a fourth of the domestic market, said the agency, which is based in Washington. During the first 10 months of 1985. imported steel-mill products totaled 20.4 million net tons, compared with nearly 22 million net tons the previous year, the institute said. "Although there have been some month-to-month fluctuations, the central and indisputable fact about steel imports is that, for the 10 months of 1985, they amounted to an overwhelming 20.4 million tons, accounting for more than $9 billion of our foreign trade deficit," Donald H. Trautlein, chairman of the institute and the Bethlehem Steel Corp.. said in the statement. The Dow slips 3.56 pts. as the market is mixed Authority will outline port plans NEW YORK The stock market was mixed in iignt post-noiiuay trading yesterday, running into some selling after its recent rise to record highs. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials, up about 7 points in the early going, was down 3.56 at 1.472 13 by the close. That left the average with a net gain of 7.80 points for the week. Volume on the New York Stock Exchange came to 84.06 million shares, down from 14365 million Wednesday and the lightest total since a 78.54 million-share day on Oct. 14. Airline stocks were broadly higher, responding to recent downward pressure on oil prices. UAL rose 1 4 to 484; AMR 1 W to 42t, and Delta Air Lines 1 to 37. Campbell Soup, the subject of widespread takeover speculation, climbed In the daily tally on the Big Board, about six issues rose in price for every five that declined. The exchange's composite common-stock index dipped 0.13 to 116.55. Nationwide turnover in NYSE-listed issues, including trades in those stocks on regional exchanges and in the over-the-counter market, totaled 100.07 million shares. Standard & Poor's index of 400 industrials lost 0.56 to 225.21. and S&P's 500-stock composite index was down 0.37 at 202.17. The NASDAQ composite index for the over-the-counter market rose 0 94 to 313.95. At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index closed at 242.26. up 0.90. K Is J. CROWDS BLOCK THE PAVEMENT outside a London bank to snap up the tnrk of Lauri Ashley. Investors oversubscribed the initial public offering of the stock 34 time. Buyers put up about S3 billion for the 46.5 million shares, which were offered at $2 each. Mounted police were called in to keep order. By Robert R. Frump Inquirer Start tenter The Delaware River Port Authority, traditionally more concerned with bridges and trains than piers and terminals, will embark on a pro- 6iiii to uuiiu pull iH.iiiuc9 oil I lie Delaware River and Bay, the authority president, James R. Kelly, said yesterday. "In January, we will present to the directors of the port authority the outline of how we will plan for port development over the next 20 years." Kelly said. The port authority handles the marketing of regional ports under its World Trade Division. Kelly mentioned "physical development" of the ports in a speech Nov. 22 before the Penjerdel Council, which had just given him its Man of the Year award. He elaborated on the topic during an interview yesterday. The port authority will began planning additional marine terminals along the river and will consider acquisition of vacant land for the expansion of port-related industry and creation of an export center, he said. It also will continue to pursue its standing project of a floating bulk-cargo transfer station in the naturally deep water of the Delaware -j "We will overcome conflicts between interests by making this a very public process, and by proposing a whole series of alternatives," Kelly said. "We then will present the alternatives to the community and let the community choose." The port authority has board members from both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Past proposals for building piers have been abandoned when the directors split along state lines. When the authority planned to build a terminal in New Jersey in the late 1960s, for example, the project became a heated issue in the Philadelphia mayoral campaign and later was scratched. The present plan to build a floating terminal in the bay would allow the cheap shipment of coal. But the state of Delaware is opposed to the project. It already has declared illegal under its Coastal Zone Act one floating coal-transfer station proposed by a private company. Kelly ouiU tut Rciuiiai Poi i Executive Committee, an informal organization of officials from South Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware, will be revived to review projects and resolve conflicts. The committee was formed in 1981 in an attempt to find the best governmental approach to reverse the decline in cargoes moving through the port. Although the authority attempts to serve as an umbrella agency for marketing pons in all three states, other port agencies here provide their own, individual marketing services. The Philadelphia Port Corp., for example, created a new division of marketing three years ago. Both the South Jersey Port Corp. and the Wilmington Marine Terminal have hired their own marketing representatives in recent years.

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