Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers, Miller & Rhoads Inc., Washington's biggest retail company, will become an operating division of the $2.3-billion-a-year empire of Allied Stores Corp. under a merger agreement signed late Monday by Garfinckel's board of directors. See story on A1

How the diversified Garfinckel operations will fit into the already complex Allied operations has not yet been worked out yet, Allied officials said yesterday after settling the brief but bitter takeover fight.

Allied was ranked as the 13th-largest retailer in the country last year by Chain Store Age, a leading industry magazine. With the acquisition of Garfinckel's and its $472 million a year in sales, Allied will jump into 10th place, just behind Wickes Corp., the California conglomerate that earlier considered buying Garfinckel's and May Department Stores Co. of St. Louis, which owns Hecht's in Washington.

Like most major retailing groups -- including Garfinckel's itself -- Allied is a decentralized operation, operating 226 stores through 22 different chains. The parent company sets corporate goals and leaves the daily operations to the chain chief executives.

Allied's best-known sibling is Bonwit Teller in New York. It also owns Plymouth Shops, a rapidly growing women's specialty chain that plans to move into the Washington area this fall.

Other Allied stores include Jordan Marsh in New England and Florida, Joske's in Texas, Bon Marche in the Northwest, Stern's in New Jersey, Gertz on Long Island and Donaldson's in Minnesota.