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Retail briefs

Cost Plus doubles DC

Cost Plus, Inc. is planning to expand its 500,000-square-foot Virginia distribution center to 1,000,000 square feet, with the added capacity scheduled to come on line in fiscal 2005.

The estimated cost to expand the facility is $24 million, with an estimated $16 million expected to be spent in fiscal 2004, and the remaining $8 million scheduled to be spent in fiscal 2005.

In connection with the expansion, the company also reached an agreement to purchase the existing 500,000-square-foot facility and land currently under lease for a purchase price of $26.5 million, with the purchase expected to close in May 2004.

Federated to feed customers

Federated Department Stores, Inc. and Cosi, Inc. have formed a food service partnership for Macy's customers. In the initial phase of the agreement, Cosi plans to open 10 restaurants this summer and fall at some of the largest Macy's stores, including locations in Seattle, Atlanta, Miami and Memphis.

"Federated's collaboration with Cosi is another step in our reinvent process, focusing on meeting our customers' evolving expectations," said Tom Cole, Federated vice chair. "Our customers want to 'rest and refresh' when shopping, without having to leave our store. We chose to partner with Cosi because we are convinced that its distinctive, high-quality food and comfortable, relaxed environment will have national appeal to sophisticated Macy's shoppers."

Saks to close S.C. Proffitt's

Saks Incorporated plans to close its 120,000-square-foot Proffitt's store located in the Greenville Mall in Greenville, S.C., by the end of May.

The store employs approximately 60 associates. All associates affected by the closure either will be offered transfer opportunities to other stores or will receive severance packages, according to the company.

Toni Browning, president and CEO of Proffitt's/McRae's, said, "We are very appreciative of the loyal service and dedication of our Greenville associates, and we will make every effort to assist them in finding new positions within or outside the company."

Dollar Tree gives Coble expanded role

Dollar Tree Stores Inc. is moving Frederick Coble, chief financial officer and corporate secretary, to the newly expanded position of corporate secretary later this year.

The company is launching a nationwide search for a new chief financial officer, with plans to complete the search before Coble's transition to the new position.

"Eric has played a significant role in building Dollar Tree Stores into a national company and the retail leader in the single price point category," CEO Bob Sasser said. "The company has strong operating momentum, a solid balance sheet and a consistent history of earnings growth. Eric will continue to serve the company as CFO and help us identify a talented successor over the next few months.

"In addition to his role as corporate secretary, he will serve as a resource for special projects and analysis as we continue to grow."

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