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Retail briefs

Home Depot to land in Manhattan

The Home Depot will open the first of its two planned Manhattan stores in the Flatiron District on Friday, Sept. 10.

The store will be located in the Hasbro Building (located at 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). The Home Depot's second Manhattan store, located at 59th Street and Third Avenue in Midtown, will open in late 2004. Together, the two stores will employ about 600 associates, stated the company.

"The Home Depot knows that Manhattan residents have a unique way of living, and we have conducted extensive research to ensure that the store design, layout, services and product offerings meet the needs of our customers. Whether our customers are seeking space-saving solutions for studio apartments or custom styling for more lavish lofts, we are looking forward to providing them with 105,000 square feet of products, know-how and services," said Tom Taylor, president of The Home Depot's Eastern Division.

Target adds another 27

Target unveiled 27 new stores during its summer round of openings on July 25. The new units will bring the chain's store count to 1,272.

New locations include: Conway, Ark.; Mesa West and Tucson El Con Mall, Ariz.; Ortega, Fla.; Lithonia, Ga.; West Des Moines, Iowa; Norridge, South Elgin and Warrenville, Ill.; Columbus, Munster, Nora Plaza and Scottsdale, Ind.; Osage Beach, Mo.; Jersey City, North Bergen Commons and Rockaway, N.J.; Atlantic Terminal/Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie and Riverdale/Bronx, N.Y.; Collierville, Tenn.; Houston Tomball North and Katy West, Texas; Gainesville and Leesburg, Va.; Vancouver, Wash.; and West Milwaukee, Wis.

Private label growing at LNT

Consolidation in the home textiles industry is spurring the growth of private label at Linens 'n Things, Chairman and CEO Norman Axelrod told analysts last week during the company's second quarter conference call.

"The textiles part of this business in the U.S., which we were certainly reliant on, has really boiled down to one or two suppliers — and even those are in tough financial shape," he said. "Although our earlier targets were to get (private label) to 20 percent, I think you're going to see us going past those targets next year."

While both the window business and bath business stumbled during the second quarter, it was the latter that has been the hardest to set right, executives said.

The "biggest miss" has been in basic bath towels and bath rugs, Axelrod noted, "where we were transitioning through the Fieldcrest bankruptcy — where our largest towel program, Royal Velvet, was completely discontinued."

According to Bill Giles, executive vice president, during the third quarter the bath business will anniversary promotional events related to the Royal Velvet liquidation.

Sears seeks retailing executive

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is looking to fill a new position: president of Sears Retail.

The president of retail will oversee the company's full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States, and will spearhead the growth of Sears' off-mall strategy. Sears expects to operate some 70 new off-mall stores by the end of next year, including 12 to 14 Sears Grands and a new mid-size format announced last month with Sears' planned acquisition of up to 54 Kmart stores and seven Wal-Mart stores.

Sears also announced that Mark Cosby, executive vice president and president of full-line stores, is leaving the company to explore other opportunities, effective immediately.

The retail president also will oversee merchandising, supply chain management and marketing. Sears Chairman and CEO Alan Lacy will perform the functions of the position on an interim basis while the search is being conducted.

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