REAL ESTATE

Coldwater Creek Raises Expansion Plans

BY CSA STAFF

Sandpoint, Idaho, Coldwater Creek has upped its 2006 expansion plans to 65 stores from the previously announced 60, the company said. Locations have already been confirmed.

The stores to be opened in 2006 will average 5,500 sq. ft., or 500 sq. ft. larger than previously planned. The retailer expects to have 239 stores in operation by Thanksgiving 2006.

Coldwater Creek is on track to add 60 stores this year, with 174 locations in place by the holiday season.

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Linens ’n Things Agrees to Takeover

BY CSA STAFF

Clifton, N.J., Linens ’n Things has agreed to be acquired in a $1.3 billion deal that will take the chain private. The home-furnishings retailer, which has been struggling with stiff competition from discounters and specialty chains, will be acquired by a newly formed company controlled by Apollo Management. Under the terms of the agreement, Linens ’n Things stockholders are to receive $28 per share in cash.

“Apollo is investing in our concept, our company and our future, which will lead to additional new opportunities for all our associates and our business partners,” said Norman Axelrod, chairman and CEO, Linens ’n Things.

The merger is expected to close in the first or early second quarter of 2006.

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Wal-Mart Opens 2nd Experimental Supercenter

BY CSA STAFF

Aurora, Colo., Wal-Mart stores opened an experimental “green” supercenter in Aurora, Colo., on Tuesday. The 206,00-sq.-ft. store features numerous energy-saving and environmentally friendly features, including wind and solar power, waste-oil boilers, porous pavements, radiant floor heating and fabric-duct air systems to heat and cool the building efficiently.

This is the second of two experimental stores planned by the discounter. The first, in McKinney, Texas, opened this past summer. The goal for both units was to reduce the amount of energy and natural resources required to operate and maintain the stores, reduce the amount of raw materials needed to construct the facilities, and substitute, when appropriate, renewable materials.

“Wal-Mart wants to be a leader in corporate responsibility for the environment and our shareholders,” says Pat Curran, executive VP of Wal-Mart USA. “We want to continue our efforts and education about environmental sustainability and how it applies to our business.”

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