REAL ESTATE

Safeway to Test New Format

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. Safeway CEO Steve Burd confirmed on Thursday that it plans to test a new, smaller store format this year. The move comes as another smaller grocery-store concept, Tesco’s new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, expands in Safeway’s home state of California.

Safeway is expected to open the first stores somewhere in Northern California, near its corporate home.

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REAL ESTATE

Kohl’s to Open Three Houston Area Locations

BY CSA STAFF

Houston Kohl’s will bring 450 jobs to the Greater Houston area when the retailer opens three new stores in April, according to the Houston Business Journal. The company is planning to open new locations in Atascocita, Katy and League City.

In October, Kohl’s announced its five-year growth plan of operating more than 1,400 stores nationwide by 2012, and the new Houston-area stores are part of that rapid expansion plan.

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Wilsons Will Close Most of Its Stores

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. will close the majority of its 260 mall locations and cut more than 1,000 jobs, the company said Friday.

Wilsons will keep 100 stores open, revamping them under its new “Studio” concept, which is focused on fashion accessories from major brands for women. All stores should be remodeled by August.

About 938 store-related jobs and 64 positions at the company’s corporate headquarters, overseas offices and distribution center in Brooklyn Park, Minn., will be cut. Wilsons’ 120 outlet stores will not be affected.

“We expect the cost reduction initiative will enable us to reduce our working capital needs and strengthen our business, as well as provide capital for our remodel efforts to convert all remaining mall stores into our new ‘Studio’ concept,” said Mike Searles, company chief executive, in a statement.

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