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Anna's buys Strouds' outlets

Costa Mesa, CA — Anna's Linens has joined the ranks of shoppers snapping up bargains from Strouds' liquidation sale. The value-oriented linens specialty retailer last week acquired 11 of 17 Strouds' outlet stores and now plans to end the year with a base of approximately 125 stores — putting its 2003 store growth rate at 43 percent.

The deal should add about $25 million in sales over 12 months, said Alan Gladstone, chairman, president and ceo of Anna's. Although he would not disclose the terms of the transaction, he told HTT, "We think we got a very good deal."

Anna's adds six Southern California properties, one San Diego unit and two each in Phoenix and northern California. The sites fit Anna's blue collar and ethnic demographics, Gladstone said. "These are proven stores – some [have been] open over 20 years," he added. "We're going to provide the continuity of the same product mix."

The product mix may be similar, but the products themselves won't be. Anna's did not pick up any Strouds inventory in the purchase, Gladstone said. The company will also re-fixture the former Strouds locations, which it will take possession of between July 8 and 11. The stores range in size from 6,500 square feet to 12,000 square feet, in line with Anna's current catalog of real estate. The units will be restocked with fresh merchandise and are set to open as Anna's by the end of August.

Anna's earlier this year began accelerating what had been a deliberate store expansion schedule after selling a 25 percent stake in the company 10 months ago to San Francisco-based Rosewood Capital for $25 million. This past spring, it opened six units in Atlanta, continuing a march across the southern United States that included units in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The company will open its 100th store next week in Las Vegas.

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