Raleigh Stores Corp. yesterday completed its $95 million acquisition of the 10-store Garfinckel's chain.

Raleigh's issued a brief announcement to store employes saying the purchase of Garfinckel's from Allied Stores Corp. of New York had been completed.

However, the sale leaves unanswered questions about the future direction of the chain that has catered to Washingtonians for the past 83 years. Among them is how many of Garfinckel's 1,100 employes may be laid off, as well as the question of the ultimate use of the chain's flagship store at 14th and F streets NW. Raleigh Chairman Neal J. Fox, in earlier statements, has said he plans to operate the 12-store Raleigh's chain and Garfinckel's as separate entities. "We will continue to operate {Garfinckel's} as it was in the past; no changes are currently anticipated," the 52-year-old retailer said when the sale was first announced on June 1.

At the same time, Fox said he intends to continue to operate Garfinckel's downtown store, a valuable real estate property.

Earlier this week, Fox said through a spokesman, "I never intend to leave that site."

Nonetheless, many developers and retail executives have speculated that Fox may sell the building -- and then lease it back -- to reduce the debt incurred during the acquisition.

Retail industry officials also predict Fox may reduce the space devoted to retailing.

Noting that the downtown store is far larger than Garfinckel's suburban units and Raleigh stores, retailing expert Kurt Barnard predicted Fox would "sooner or later make the downtown store a much smaller operation.

"There is a great deal of affinity between the two chains, and Raleigh's will be well equipped to run the store" if it is reduced in size, said Barnard, who publishes a monthly retailing newsletter.

Retailing executives also expect Fox to scale down the Garfinckel's staff, merging many of the promotion and buying operations of the two chains.

For the past several weeks, there have been persistent rumors that as many as 200 Garfinckel's employes would be dismissed within days after the merger was completed.

Last night, Fox called the 200 figure "a ridiculous number." He said he didn't expect layoffs to be as high as 10 percent of Garfinckel's work force, adding, "Consolidation and overhead cutting are going on everywhere in retailing."

Several top executives have already left the chain. Former president Hanne Merriman -- who, with other members of management, had bid against Fox in trying to buy the store from Allied -- submitted her resignation shortly after the sale was announced. Six other executives were dismissed as of July 15 -- the date Raleigh's had initially hoped to complete its acquisition.

However, paperwork delayed that day for more than a month, Raleigh's spokesman David Nellis said earlier this week.

Garfinckel's was put up for sale in January after Allied Stores was sold to Campeau Corp. for $3.5 billion. To reduce the debt incurred from the sale, Campeau put 16 Allied divisions up for sale, including Garfinckel's, Bonwit Teller and the Richmond-based Miller & Rhoads department store chain.

Yesterday's sale was the third change in Garfinckel's ownership in seven years. In 1981, Allied bought Garfinckel's and its sister companies, Brooks Brothers and Miller & Rhoads, for $235 million. Then Campeau bought Allied at the end of 1986.

The sale to Fox now puts two longtime Washington retailing institutions into the hands of a relative newcomer who bought the Raleigh's chain three years ago from the family that had owned the stores for more than 32 years.