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Southern Solidity

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Try to stereotype any industry as up or down—and you’ll end up looking foolish. The economy is hurting businesses, no question, but to say that retail is suffering violently and across the board simply isn’t true.

The Southeastern segment of the United States—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for the purposes of this August 2008 real estate supplement to Chain Store Age—has had its share of financial hardships. But there are towns and municipalities and regions within those eight states that are weathering the economy quite admirably.

Loudon County was the 10th fastest-growing community in the state of Tennessee between 2000 and 2007, according to the county’s economic-development agency. Median home-sale values for new homes in 2006 exceeded median U.S. values ($259,900 compared to $246,900).

A second-quarter Retail Research Report by Marcus & Millichap revealed Louisville, Ky., is expected to end the year with stable employment levels. The same report indicated that, in Charlotte, N.C., the retail market remains fairly healthy as employers expand payrolls at a rate that exceeds the national average and home prices appreciate. And retail properties in Miami-Dade County, Fla., continue to perform well so far in 2008, as leasing volume has remained healthy and the vacancy rate has remained unchanged since the end of last year.

The projects, and companies, featured throughout this supplement exemplify retail-development strength in the region. In the project-profile section, you’ll see some of the centers highlighted with a computer-mouse icon; be sure to check them out online at www.chainstoreage.com/realestate , where you’ll find additional information, including leasing details.

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Target.com offers installation services

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target.com customers will now have access to next-day installation services for their electronics through a new deal with Zip Express Installation.

Through Zip Express, Target.com customers will have the first installation option through the retail chain and can purchase installation packages alongside any major home electronic purchases made on Target.com, with next-day installation available anywhere in the United States and Canada. The selected service is rung up with the product at checkout and the customer can then call the toll free number or visit www.zipinstallation.com immediately after purchase to schedule a specific day and hour that is most convenient for installation.

Many retailers today rely on the additional revenue gained from installation services, said Chris Mauzy, president and ceo of Zip Express Installation. Our services provide retail partners with the same benefits achieved from an in-house installation service, but without the overhead required to support the in-house program themselves. 

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Wal-Mart asks shoppers to share BTS savings tips

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart has announced a new promotion in which it is asking consumers to share their money-saving tips for the back-to-school season. Visitors to the company’s MakeYourDollarStretch.com site can submit their stories on how they have learned to save on back-to-school spending for the chance to win a $600 Wal-Mart gift card.

The winners will be chosen by Ellie Kay, financial expert and Web site contributor and one finalist, receiving the most votes from visitors to the site, will take home an additional $600, Wal-Mart reported.

“Considering today’s inflation pressures and the rising need families have to better manage their spending, it is becoming more important than ever for parents to think about shopping smart and looking for resources to save money,” said “We all have ideas to share, and I expect this challenge will generate even more.”

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