REAL ESTATE

Rue21 opens 700th store, on track to open 110 stores in fiscal 2011

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Warrendale, Pa. — Rue21 said Thursday it has opened its 700th store, located in New Braunfels, Texas.

The store is Rue21’s 80th in the state. Year-to-date, the retailer has opened 63 stores and said it is on target to open 110 new stores and convert 35 existing stores to its larger etc! format in fiscal 2011.

Long-term growth strategy includes opening in strip centers, regional malls and outlet centers, and the New Braunfels location is Rue21’s 360th strip center location.

“Our flexible real estate strategy gives us the ability to expand our customer base and open in a variety of new markets,” said Bob Fisch, president and CEO.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap to make Africa debut

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Gap announced Wednesday that it will open its first Gap store in Egypt this July, and its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Morocco in October.

The move is part of the retailer’s global expansion strategy that calls for doubling its franchise stores to 400 by fiscal year 2014.

Gap started shipping to Egypt, Morocco and South Africa in 2010, but these stores are the first on the continent.

“The rapidly growing consumer base in North Africa provides an ideal environment to introduce both Gap and Banana Republic to the continent,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president of International, Gap.

Over the last five years, Gap has grown its franchise store base to more than 180 and expanded from two to 25 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia. This latest announcement brings its brands to 29 countries, including Chile and Serbia in fiscal year 2011.

The debut Egypt store will be located in the Mall of Arabia in Cairo; two additional Gap stores will open at Cairo’s City Stars Mall and Sun City Mall this October. The Moroccan premier for Gap and Banana Republic stores will occur in Casablanca, in the city’s new Morocco Mall, opening simultaneously with the mall’s grand opening in October.

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REAL ESTATE

O’Neill Clothing to open Santa Monica flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — O’Neill Clothing, a surf, snow and youth lifestyle brand, will open a flagship in Santa Monica, Calif., on July 8.

Inspired by the oceanfront home of company founder Jack O’Neill’s, the store is designed to offer an authentic environment to illustrate the brand’s lifestyle. Window displays showcase one-of-a-kind artwork from O’Neill employees and friends, and the interior is lined with various photography from past decades and current advertising campaigns.

"We’re excited to have an opportunity to thoroughly represent the O’Neill brand in Santa Monica," said O’Neill Clothing CEO, Toby Bost. "This global retail concept is the first to be rolled out in the United States, and will showcase everything O’Neill is about in one of the best shopping locations in the country."

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