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Retail briefs

Kmart wraps lifestyle publication

Kmart has unveiled Urban Direct, an entertainment and lifestyle newspaper supplement containing interviews, articles and product offerings. It's the company's newest marketing effort, coming after the launch of La Vida, its Spanish-language newspaper. Both represent the merchant's newest strategy to focus on core urban and ethnic markets.

One million copies will initially be distributed in nine selected markets, including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington Philadelphia and Miami. It will be a wrap to Kmart's weekly FSI. Editorial content will target the retailer's African-American and urban consumers, the company said. Kmart has joint-ventured the concept with Alturas Communications Inc., which also publishes La Vida.

May Dept. Stores buys two units in Ohio

May Department Stores has signed an agreement to acquire two Marshall Field's department store locations in Columbus, OH, from Target Corp. They will become Kaufman's department stores.

The two locations are the 224,000-square-foot Tuttle Crossing store in suburban Columbus and the 198,000-square-foot City Center store in downtown Columbus. The transaction is expected to close in late March.

Lowe's to build new distribution center

Lowe's last week announced it will break ground for a 1.3-million-square-foot, $73 million regional distribution center in Osceola County, FL, beginning this year and slated for opening in late 2004 or early 2005.

The facility will serve 120 Lowe's Home Improvement Centers in Florida and southern Georgia.

Lowe's currently operates nine regional distribution centers throughout the United States.

Dillard's to close four stores

Dillard's will close four underperforming stores and consolidate another, which is operating as a dual anchor, the company announced. The closing stores are in Randall Park Mall in North Randall, OH; Raleigh Springs Mall in Memphis, TN; Richland Fashion Mall in Columbia, and Greenville Mall in Greenville, both in South Carolina. The stores will close this spring.

The company's stores at the Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake, VA, have begun a multiphase consolidation that will result in the construction of a single 160,000-square-foot store. Currently Dillard's operates two stores at the mall. As an interim step, the two stores will be combined into one, as the empty facility is demolished to make way for the new construction.

Construction will begin next month, with completion slated for spring 2004.

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