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Retail Briefs

Nina Campbell Coming to Stein Mart

Stein Mart is poised for a November debut of its exclusive "modern classics" home décor collection by Nina Campbell, a U.K. designer featured on the BBC "Home" series. Campbell will feature in TV ads and also plans to make store appearances in major markets, Stein Mart president and ceo Michael Fisher said at the Johnson Rice & Co. 6th Annual Consumer Conference.

The $1.5 billion, 260-store retailer opened 12 new stores in 2006 and plans about 20 new doors next year. Home makes up about 15% of sales, Fisher said.

Bon-Ton Buys Five Parisian Sites

The Bon-Ton Stores will purchase four Parisian department stores and the rights for the construction of a fifth store from Belk for $22 million in cash and the assumption of specific liabilities. Bob-Ton said the stores, in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, had net sales of at least $90 million last year.

"These Parisian stores fit geographically into our existing markets, strengthen our position in the Midwest and add to our customer base," said Bud Bergren, president and ceo of $3.4 billion Bon-Ton.

Wal-Mart Opens Atlanta Urban Store

Wal-Mart has opened its first unit within Atlanta's city limits, a 150,000-square-foot supercenter at Howell Mill, located on the lower level of a former hotel. The store houses a Subway restaurant, one-hour photo lab, pharmacy, and vision center and.

In common with two other suburban Atlanta stores that recently opened, the unit also features an expanded electronics department as well as wider aisles and improved signage, and some new home trend displays.

ShopKo to Build New Store

ShopKo said it will build an 80,000-square foot store in Suamico, Wis., in the Green Bay metro market, slated to open in spring 2008 – its first new build in six years. "We believe this signals that ShopKo is ready to begin its next growth phase," said chairman and ceo Mike MacDonald.

A unit of Sun Capital Partners, ShopKo is a Northern regional upscale discounter with 135 stores doing about $2.2 billion in annual sales.

Big Lots Ups Earnings Guidance

Closeout retailer Big Lots raised its earnings per share guidance and reported second-quarter income from continuing operations of $4.7 million, a turnaround from a loss of $12.9 million for the same period one year ago. Guidance for fiscal 2006 EPS was boosted to $0.62 to $0.67 per diluted share from prior guidance of $0.44 to $0.49 per diluted share. Net second-quarter sales at the 1,400-store chain were up 5.6% to $1.06 billion, comparative store sales were up 5.2%, and expenses fell from 41.9% to 38.3% of sales.

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