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Heritage Plaza, Irvine, Calif.

BY CSA STAFF

The country’s largest Japanese supermarket chain will debut at Heritage Plaza, in Irvine, Calif.

According to shopping center owner Regency Center, based in Jacksonville, Fla., it has leased 13,853 sq. ft. at Heritage Plaza to Mitsuwa Marketplace. The Asian grocer, which has eight other U.S. locations, including six in California, is slated to open in fourth quarter 2011, in a former Ace Hardware space.

“The addition of Mitsuwa Marketplace further strengthens the tailored merchandise mix at Heritage Plaza by meeting the growing need for Asian products in the surrounding Irvine community,” said Gregg Sadowsky, Regency Center’s senior VP and market officer.

Mitsuwa Marketplace is part of the $10 million renovation currently underway at Heritage Plaza, a 233,000-sq.-ft. neighborhood center located in Orange County. Based upon resident focus group feedback and research data, the center’s transformation will include a new exterior façade incorporating stone and wood finishes, upgraded architectural components, new building and way finding signage, wider pedestrian walkways, energy-efficient parking lot lighting, added gathering areas with outdoor seating, sidewalk eating areas for al fresco dining and updated landscaping.

The renovation is scheduled for completion in November.

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With flat June sales, Fred’s expects Q2 to be at low end of projected range

BY CSA STAFF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday reported sales of $179 million for the five weeks ended July 2, representing a relatively flat 0.1% increase, compared with the year-ago period.

Comparable-store sales for the month dropped 0.7%, compared with an increase of 1.7% in the same period last year.

"June sales reflected the volatility experienced with our customers’ purchase patterns and demonstrated the broader decline in consumer sentiment that has been reported for the month,” Fred’s CEO Bruce Efird said. “After a solid start in the first half of June, we saw a significant downward adjustment in the last half of the month as customer traffic remained positive, but our average customer ticket declined. Another example of the challenging economy was seen in the paycheck cycle, which was very pronounced in the final weeks of the month, but the sales on July 1 were the highest single-day amount for the year,” he said. “Because of less-than-expected May and June sales, we now expect second-quarter earnings to be at the low end of our forecasted range."

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Sears inks deal with military exchanges

BY CSA STAFF

Sears Home Services has entered into agreements with three branches of the military to provide delivery and installation services for merchandise sold through their stores in the continental U.S. After success with initial pilots, Sears began the nationwide launch on June 8, at various Navy, Army, and Air Force Exchanges that sell home improvement services such as siding, windows, cabinet refacing, kitchen remodeling, roofing, carpet, and upholstery cleaning, air duct cleaning and garage door installation and repair.

The agreements involve separate contracts with the Exchange (previously known as the Army and Air Force Exchange Services) and Navy Exchange Services (NEX).

Sears Home Service, the nation’s largest product repair service provider, employs more than 8,600 service technicians and delivers a broad range of retail-related residential and commercial services across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

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