REAL ESTATE

Harry & David wants to hire DJM Realty to help close stores

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Harry & David Holdings, which filed for Chapter 11 in March, asked the court Tuesday for permission to hire a real estate consultant to help close 50 of its 122 stores.

The company seeks approval to hire DJM Realty Services, a subsidiary of the Gordon Brothers Group. The filing said that DJM also could help Harry & David renegotiate leases with landlords for 69 of its other stores

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REAL ESTATE

Maine House votes to repeal law banning big-box stores from downtown areas

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The Maine House on Wednesday voted to effectively repeal the Informed Growth Act, a law that was enacted four years ago to protect Maine’s downtown business districts from big-box stores, The Portland Press Herald reported.

The vote, while a preliminary one, followed an impassioned debate about the character of Maine’s traditional downtowns and whether Wal-Mart and other large national chains have hurt local businesses or have helped them by attracting more people to communities, the report said.

The Informed Growth Act was enacted in 2007 after several midcoast Maine communities tried to block big-box stores from being built within their borders out of concerns that the big stores would drive local retailers out of business. Vermont is the only other state with a similar law, although it is less comprehensive. Some cities and regions have adopted similar measures.

The Senate has yet to take up the bill.

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REAL ESTATE

United Supermarket debuts new United Express format

BY CSA STAFF

Lubbock, Texas — United Supermarkets officially entered the convenience market on Wednesday with the opening of its first United Express location, in Lubbock, Texas. It is the company’s first standalone convenience store.

The location includes a six-pump fuel station and will feature fresh offerings along with the traditional items guests would expect to find at a convenience store.

“Our goal with United Express is to take the offerings and products such as prepared foods which have been most successful in our A Taste of Market Street stores, as well as those on-the-go convenience items, and blend them where guests will see traditional offerings with a unique United flair,” explained Chris Bridgford, the company’s director of fuel and convenience operations.

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