REAL ESTATE

Dollar General to make California debut

BY CSA STAFF

Goodlettsville, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. announced that it plans to open its first stores in California in 2012 following successful expansions in such other western states as Arizona and Colorado in recent years.

“Our California stores will mark a significant milestone for Dollar General, giving us a coast-to-coast presence for the first time,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO.

The California announcement comes on the heels of the company’s planned expansions into three new states in 2011 — Connecticut, Nevada and New Hampshire. California would be Dollar General’s 39th state.

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REAL ESTATE

Walmart, Home Depot each pledge $1 million for Joplin tornado relief

BY CSA STAFF

New York — Walmart and The Home Depot have each pledged $1 million to help rebuilding efforts in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo.

Each of the retailers had a store in Joplin that was leveled in the storm. Both stores had fatalities inside them.

In a statement, Walmart said it has accounted for all of its associates working at the store at that time, but still is reaching out to all of its employees in the area. It also is working to direct truckloads of water, food and other basic items to Joplin.

Home Depot said its foundation will be in Joplin this week to assess the long-term needs of the community and to figure out how best to partner to help in the rebuilding efforts. It also said it would rebuild its Joplin store on the current site.

"The devastation in Joplin in indescribable and we will be there to help this community get back on its feet," Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said. "As we learned through our work in the Gulf after similar destruction from Katrina, the rebuilding will take years, and we are committed to Joplin for the long haul."

Steve Holmes, a Home Depot spokesman, confirmed that one employee died in the store during the storm, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But he said the company was leaving it up to local authorities to release the number of customers who died in the store.

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REAL ESTATE

Four chains honored with ICSC Hot Retailer awards

BY CSA STAFF

Las Vegas — The International Council of Shopping Centers has named Athleta, Smashburger, Aldi and Fossil as the 2011 Hot Retailer Award winners.

The annual awards, based on a survey of ICSC’s worldwide members, were presented Tuesday at the association’s global retail real estate convention, REConn.

“Every year ICSC recognizes retailers that create unique and exciting shopping experiences that draw consumers into shopping centers around the world,” said Michael Kercheval, ICSC president and CEO. “These retailers provide outstanding products and services thereby contributing to the overall success of the shopping centers that have them as tenants.”

Smashburger, a fast-casual burger and fries restaurant chain, currently has 100 stores nationwide. It is on target to have 500 plus stores in the next few years.

Discount-grocery operator Aldi, has more than 1,100 U.S. stores located in 31 states primarily from Kansas to the East Coast.

Athleta, which specializes in women’s sports and fitness apparel and accessories, was acquired by Gap Inc. in 2008. It opened its first two stores in 2010, in Northern California, and reportedly plans 50 locations by 2013.

With over 350 stores worldwide and a strong global e-commerce business, Fossil is internationally known for its eclectic assortment of lifestyle and accessory items including watches, handbags, and clothing.

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