REAL ESTATE

Report: True Religion President Details Rapid Expansion Plans

BY CSA STAFF

Vernon, Calif., True Religion Apparel Inc. plans to expand its store base from 15 locations to 30 by the end of 2008, according to a report by GlobeSt.com. It plans to reach a store count total of 50 in 2009.

President Michael Buckley outlined the company’s store-expansion plans and other elements of its growth strategy in a presentation at the Thomas Weisel Partners 2007 Consumer Conference in New York City, the report said.

Buckley said that the company’s sales climbed from $2 million in 2003 to $139 million in 2006 and is on track to top the 2006 number this year despite the economic downturn that has some retailers lagging, according to the report.

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REAL ESTATE

Wal-Mart Scraps Pittsburgh-Area Store

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores has given up on building a suburban hilltop store near Pittsburgh, the company announced Wednesday. A massive landslide last year closed a busy highway near the construction site for two weeks.

Wal-Mart said in a statement that it will return the hilltop in Kilbuck Township “to a predevelopment, natural sloping condition that includes trees and vegetation.”

Officials from Wal-Mart and the state Department of Environmental Protection met Tuesday to discuss the revised plan. In August, the department said Wal-Mart’s stabilization plan for the site was incomplete. Wal-Mart has been trying to devise a plan that would stabilize the hillside to prevent another landslide.

Part of the site gave way in September 2006, sending some 500,000 cubic yards of dirt and debris onto Route 65 and railway tracks below. One lane of the highway, a major artery to Pittsburgh’s western suburbs, remains closed.

“We’re happy to see that Wal-Mart has chosen to put the safety of the community first and we look forward to receiving the company’s revised stabilization plan,” the state department’s regional director, Kenneth Bowman, said in a statement.

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Report: Timberland Closing 40 Stores Internationally

BY CSA STAFF

Stratham, N.H., Timberland Co. is closing 40 of its large-format specialty stores in the United States, Europe and Asia, according to GlobeSt.com.

Management is also closing “several” of its outlet stores, and did not give specific locations of the units it is shutting, though most of them are in the United States, the report said.

Executives said that the “action is consistent with the company’s strategy to transition to smaller, footwear-focused stores in the United States and in certain international markets.”

The closures are scheduled to take place in the first few months of next year, the report said.

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