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Elder-Beerman grows concept

DAYTON, OH -The Elder-Beerman Stores Corp. has announced that it will open its eighth concept store this fall in Sandy Township, PA.

The smaller-sized concept store, averaging 55,000 square feet, incorporates elements to use its floor space more efficiently. The average non-concept store is 75,000 square feet.

"Concept store growth, along with our emphasis on value in our merchandise and the increased efficiencies of our organization, allows us to develop a new niche in the retail landscape," said Frederick Mershad, Chairman and ceo. "We designed our concept stores to meet the needs of today's busy customer by offering a competitive balance of price, selection, quality, convenience and service."

The concept stores feature always-staffed centralized customer service centers in the main aisles through the stores. This eliminates individual department cash registers that weren't always open, said Gloria Siegler, investor relations.

In the home department, which with hard and soft goods is 19.5 percent of the selling floor, new visual displays include wallscaping, which will allow towels, comforters and other products to be stacked up to the ceiling, as well as industrial carts.

All of the new stores the company opens will be in this new format. Its seventh concept store, announced in November, will open late March or early April in Plover, WI, near Stevens Point. An additional store will also open in the fall, for a store total of 65.

The non-concept stores will incorporate elements of the new format, Siegler said, such as the centralized customer service centers, which will be in all of the stores by the end of spring.

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