Garden Ridge to Close Store in Airtex, Texas
Houston, Garden Ridge will close its second-oldest store in the chain, and will relocate it later in 2006. The 35-store Garden Ridge chain lost its Airtex store lease, and will close its doors in January. “This is a bittersweet moment in the history of Garden Ridge,” said CEO Tom Kibarian. “Closing one of the original stores in the chain is hard on everyone, but with Airtex store sales representing less than 2% of the chain, we feel it’s time to relocate the store to achieve continued growth and future expansion.” The store will stay in the Houston area.
Pantry Buys 39 Southern C-Stores
Sanford, N.C., The Pantry Inc. has agreed to purchase 39 c-stores from Waring Oil Co. The locations operate under the Interstate Food Stop banner in Mississippi and Louisiana. The stores accumulated $100 million in revenues last year.
From Supercenter to ‘Express’ in Storm-Damaged Area
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores is opening a new “Wal-Mart Express” on the site of its hurricane-damaged Wal-Mart Supercenter in Waveland, Miss. This new store format will offer a merchandise mix focused on the needs of the community, which still is recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the company said. Operating more recently as a “tent store” to provide basic needs for residents, the new store will open its doors on Saturday.
The Wal-Mart Express is a new store concept that differs from the footprint of a typical Wal-Mart store. According to Pam Kohn, the division’s senior VP, “The new prototype store will allow us to respond to this community’s immediate needs.” Wal-Mart eventually plans to return the Waveland store to a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The new 57,000-sq.-ft. store can be entered through the original front entrance and is enclosed within the original 205,800-sq.-ft. building by dust-proof, insulated walls. The merchandise mix will differ from a typical Wal-Mart store, focusing on essential items, in the quantities and sizes needed for the community, as it continues to rebuild from the storm.