OPERATIONS

Best Buy to cut seasonal staff by half during holidays

BY Staff Writer

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that it has cut its 2011 seasonal hiring plans to about half of last year’s staff numbers, in a move to curtail costs. This year’s plans call for 15,000 holiday workers, compared with 29,000 hired last year.

The retailer said it plans to increase its regular staffers’ hours to compensate for the fewer seasonal workers, and also plans to increase services such as free tech support and a longer window for product returns during the holidays. It will also promote under-$100 deals to promote more sales.

"The consumer continues to be cautious," said CEO Brian Dunn. "That’s not just a blip, that’s the new normal."

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STORE SPACES

J.C. Penney to renovate, expand Rock Hill Galleria store

BY Staff Writer

Rock Hill, S.C. — The developers of Rock Hill Galleria, in Rock Hill, S.C., said Tuesday that the 470,000-sq.-ft. regional mall will initiate a comprehensive renovation and expansion of mall anchor J.C. Penney.

Construction will begin soon and is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.

J.C. Penney has been a key department store anchor at Rock Hill Galleria since 1991. The expansion will increase the store’s size from 51,600 sq. ft. to more than 83,000 sq. ft. and will move the department store retailer into its latest design format.

Rock Hill Galleria is also anchored by Belk and Sears, and features retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Aeropostale, Hot Topic, Yankee Candle, rue21, Kay Jewelers and Bath & Body Works.

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REAL ESTATE

West Elm to open first Washington location

BY Staff Writer

Brooklyn, N.Y. — Williams Sonoma-owned home-furnishings retailer West Elm said Tuesday that it will make its Washington State debut with a new store in Seattle, slated to open Oct. 6.

The 15,000-sq.-ft. store will feature a number of unique design details, according to West Elm, including a living wall and an art installation designed specifically for the location.

Like other West Elm stores, the Seattle location is designed using green materials and includes low-energy lighting, low-VOC paints and reclaimed hardwood floors.

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