REAL ESTATE

Costco to Open in Australia

BY CSA STAFF

Bellevue, Wash. Costco plans to open its first store in Australia in 2009.

At its annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Jan. 29, Costco chairman of the board Jeffrey Brotman said the company plans to “open in Australia sometime next year,” when asked about the chain’s plans for international expansion.

Costco executive VP and CFO Richard Galanti later confirmed that Costco is searching for sites in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

During his presentation, CEO Jim Sinegal said Costco increased the number of stores powered by solar energy to 13 and that the company is considering solar panels for 25 more locations.

Sinegal also confirmed the 531-store chain plans to open 29 new locations this year and estimates Costco could eventually open 1,025 stores worldwide with more than 700 warehouses in the United States.

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REAL ESTATE

Supervalu to Shutter Sunflower Format

BY CSA STAFF

Eden Prairie, Minn. Supervalu Inc. will close all five of its organic Sunflower Market stores, the company confirmed Tuesday.

A company spokeswoman said that the division did not meet the company’s goals. Supervalu had planned to expand the stores nationally as a competitor to larger organic chains like Whole Foods and Wild Oats.

Sunflower’s five locations will close the week of Feb. 18.

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Rent-A-Center to Dispose of Locations

BY CSA STAFF

Plano, Texas Rent-A-Center announced that it has retained Excess Space Retail Services, Lake Success, N.Y., to manage the disposition of approximately 220 store locations. The Rent-A-Center sites are being closed in connection with the retailer’s previously announced store-consolidation plan.

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