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Macy’s Returning to New Orleans Area

BY CSA STAFF

Metairie, La., Macy’s Inc. will open two stores in suburban New Orleans in late 2008, bringing the company back to the region for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Macy’s said Thursday it would build a new store at the Lakeside Mall in Metairie, La. and reopen a refurbished store at Kenner’s Esplanade Mall that has been shuttered since Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005.

“Returning to the New Orleans market has been a top priority for us,” said Ed Holmon, head of Macy’s South, the company division that handles Louisiana. “We’re looking forward to opening both stores and once again being part of the vibrant, re-energized and evolving New Orleans community.”

Prior to Katrina, Macy’s also had a store at the New Orleans Centre, located across from the Louisiana Superdome. The company earlier said that store would not be reopened.

Both stores are slated to open in November 2008.

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Timberland to close specialty shops

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK, (Reuters) Bootmaker Timberland said it would close most of its specialty retail shops after the company said they expect their third-quarter earnings to be extremely low.

Most of the store closings will occur early next year, Timberland said, adding that it hopes to raise annual operating profits by $6 million, while lowering annual sales by about $40 million. The company said the closings are part of a transition to smaller, footwear-focused stores in the United States.

“We have decided to begin the closure of most of our specialty retail stores in the United States, as well as stores in Asia and Europe,” ceo Jeffrey Swartz said in a statement.

Sales of Timberland’s trademark work boots, a long-time fashion staple of urban consumers, have been declining recently with footwear trends moving toward sneakers.

The Stratham, N.H.-based company also said it expects third-quarter operating margins to dip 6 percentage points, a drop Timberland partly blamed on a voluntary recall of its Direct Attach Steel Toe Series footwear.

Timberland’s shares have fallen nearly 40% from their 52-week high of $33.45 on November 14. The stock closed Tuesday at $20.22 a share.

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Sears Canada to sell head office

BY CSA STAFF

TORONTO Sears Canada is making a move by selling its head office and surrounding property in Toronto, according to reports.

The 1,400-plus employees will be relocated to the top four floors of the Sears flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Company spokesperson Vincent Power said that the store had been underperforming as consumers have stayed away from the upper floors. He believes that the store will be more productive on four floors rather than eight. The move comes shortly after the retailer sold off its corporate jet earlier this year.

A price for the head office sale has not been disclosed, although analysts estimate that it could be worth in the range of $93.8 million USD.

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