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Pacific Sunwear to Close One Thousand Steps Stores

Anaheim, Calif., Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. said Wednesday it will close its higher-end One Thousand Steps footwear concept and explore strategic alternatives for its urban-inspired demo format, which operates 154 stores, according to the Associated Press.

The company said it decided to close its nine One Thousand Steps stores and look into possible actions for its 154-store demo division, after conducting an evaluation of the real estate portfolio and profit performance of the divisions.

``We believe the best way to enhance shareholder value at this time is to focus management's attention and capital on the core PacSun business. Over the past two years, our demo team has made many efforts to improve this business. However, as is evidenced by our demo division comp-store sales, the urban streetwear business has been very challenging. At this time, the board has chosen to explore strategic alternatives for this division,' said Sally Frame Kasaks, CEO, Pacific Sunwear, in a statement.

The demo chain, which launched in 1998, has struggled to find an audience at the mall for its hip-hop fashions. One Thousand Steps was launched in April 2006 as a potential growth opportunity for the company.

The demo and One Thousand Steps stores together generated a pre-tax total loss of about $21 million total during the first three quarters of the fiscal 2007, the company said.

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