REAL ESTATE

New Sears Appliance & Hardware Store opens in Texas

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has opened a new Sears Appliance & Hardware Store located in Huntsville, Texas. The store was the fourth Sears Appliance & Hardware Store to open in 2013 and will celebrate its official grand opening Feb. 28-March 1.

The new 18,000-sq.-ft. store offers in-store services such as blade sharpening, key cutting and screen repair, as well as products typically found in local hardware stores, such as fasteners and electrical and plumbing supplies.

"By converting a local Sears Hometown store into our new Sears Appliance & Hardware, we’ve nearly tripled our floor space, now offering consumers 18,000 sq. ft. of a much greater assortment of merchandise, all at low prices," said owner Damon Fenley. "The Huntsville community has given us such a warm welcome since day one, we can’t thank them enough and look forward to building more relationships and becoming a valuable partner."

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FINANCE

G Asset proposes partial buyout of Barnes & Noble

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — G Asset Management, LLC ("GAM"), a private investment management firm, has made a proposal to acquire 51% of Barnes & Noble Inc., valuing the company at $22 per share, or about $1.3 billion. This is a 10% increase on the $20 per share offer G Asset made for 51% of Barnes & Noble in November 2013.

Alternatively, G Asset has proposed to acquire 51% of the Nook segment, valuing the segment at $5 per share. The investment firm stated in its proposal that it was extremely confident that if the Nook segment is separated from the profitable retail and college business, substantial shareholder value would be created. In August 2013, Barnes & Noble said it would not split its retail and e-reader businesses.

G Asset has previously stated that it views Barnes & Noble as substantially undervalued in its current form, with the aggregate value of its key segments not reflected in its share price.

Both offers are subject to, among other conditions, the obtaining of the necessary financing, due diligence, and the negotiation and executing of definitive transaction documents.

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REAL ESTATE

New Sears Home Appliance Store opens in California

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Calif. – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has opened a new Sears Home Appliance Showroom store in Vallejo, Calif. The new store is hosting its grand opening celebration Feb. 28-March 1, and was the 20th Sears Home Appliance Showroom Store to open in 2013.

Through a price-match policy, the Vallejo Sears Home Appliance Showroom guarantees the lowest price on the top appliance brands, and is equipped with an internet kiosk where customers are guided by sales staff to view similar products, price match with other retailers, and order products not available in the store.

"We’re looking to fill a void in the Vallejo community by offering convenience and accessibility to great appliances at a competitive price," said Tony Lutfi, owner of Sears Home Appliance Showroom store in Vallejo. "Local residents can expect to come in and have expert product knowledge right at their fingertips, from our highly skilled team members to onsite internet kiosks where they can read customer reviews and price check with other retailers. We try to make shopping as easy as possible for our customers."

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