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Speaking of Jeans, our family was denied entry to an area restaurant because our son, nicely dressed, was wearing a pair of jeans. I dunno what they cost, but he doesn't shop at KMart

Interesting because jeans are becoming acceptable dress for anyone going anywhere apparently. The shirts, jackets sweaters etcs that go with jeans are variably dressy and acceptable --the jeans are a non-negotiable platform for the ensemble according to some interviews I have seen.

It is becoming clear that denim is not ready to fade from what I have seen in the media both television and in print. Jeans have become the foundation of dress and other items are added on top. But the basis remains denim. Good news for both ANF and AEOS.

The inventory/markdown situation last summer may show resolution last quarter if Christmas was as good as it appears it was. The only thing I would have done differently is wait out the devoloping slowdown for another quarter which would have saved a few hundred dollars. But getting the bottom right is hard.

Retailer stocks stirred a flurry of after-hours activity Wednesday, as investors rewarded teen clothiers American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Aeropostale Inc. after their December same-store sales topped Wall Street estimates.

American Eagle reported a 9.8 percent jump in December same-store sales and backed its profit guidance for the year. The company's stock added $1.50, or 6.6 percent, in aftermarket electronic trading, after closing down 51 cents at $22.80 on the Nasdaq.

Mall-based teen retailer Aeropostale reported an 11.4 percent rise in December same-store sales, and upped its fourth-quarter earnings forecast. Its shares rose $2, or 7.2 percent, after closing up 46 cents to $27.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hot Topic shares didn't fare as well. The stock closed down 21 cents at $14.04 on the Nasdaq, then slid $1.07, or 7.6 percent, on the INET electronic exchange when the company posted lower-than-expected December same-store sales and predicted 2005 earnings would miss their mark by a wide margin.
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