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Thu, April 18

Specialty retailer, World Market, remaining open in Prescott

The Cost Plus World Market store in Prescott is staying open.

Late this past week, Cost Plus Inc. came out with plans to shutter 26 stores and exit markets in a number of states largely because of the rough retail environment.

The California-based chain announced Friday plans to close about 10 percent of its 296 stores nationwide.

Holiday net sales for the nine-week holiday window ending Jan. 3 were $278.8 million, down from $291.8 million for the same time frame in 2007.

Same store sales fell 6.6 percent this past year, compared to 4.3 percent in 2007, according to a company press release.

Through store closures and layoffs at its home office and distribution center, the chain is hoping to save $21 million annually beginning in fiscal 2009.

President and Chief Executive Officer Barry Feld said in a press release that the closing the underperforming stores puts Cost Plus in better position when the economic environment improves.

The roughly 18,000-square-foot store at the Prescott Gateway Mall opened in October 2004.

News that store is staying open at the mall is positive from an employment and tenant angle.

The mall already has a large vacancy with the shuttered Linens 'n' Things store in 2008.

Mall Marketing Manager Michelle Zdanowksi said the mall and many of its retailers are rolling with the economy.

"Our company is well prepared for the short-term challenges, but we also take the long-term view that times like this pave the way for new retail ideas," she said.

The retailer, which specializes in home décor items, began the week operating 296 stores in 33 states.

Cost Plus locations on the chopping block include stores in Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Illinois and Tennessee.

The only Arizona store closing is in Mesa.

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