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Retailers to grab bradlees units

NEW YORK — Thirty-five former Bradlees locations may have new owners soon, as Kohl's, The Home Depot and Wal-Mart Stores have entered into a joint agreement with an affiliate of Stop & Shop Supermarket to purchase the rights.

The deal is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is overseeing Bradlees bankruptcy.

If the deal goes through, Kohl's would strengthen its position in the Northeast with 12 stores in the Boston area and three stores in New Jersey. Currently Kohl's does not operate any stores in Massachusetts, and it has 17 locations in New Jersey. If approved, Kohl's expected to complete the deal within 90 days, and plans to open the remodeled stores in spring 2002.

The Home Depot is interested in seven of the locations, said John Simley, spokesperson, which are in Parsippany, NJ; Colonia, NJ; Strafford, NJ; Brockton, MA; Hyannis, MA; Chelsea, MA; and Worchester, MA. The location in Hyannis would be the company's first on Cape Cod, a "major advancement." And though several of the possible locations have Home Depots nearby, there is no concern for overlap. In New Jersey, for example, Simley said, "you can have a Home Depot two miles away and the store would still be too busy."

The remaining 13 store locations pique Wal-Mart's interest, said Tom Williams, spokesperson, Wal-Mart.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company entered into agreement last month for the sale and disposition of Bradlees' 111 real property leases. Stop & Shop owned Bradlees until 1992, when it sold Bradlees in a public offering.

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