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Cary's REI location to expand in former Borders space

Tags: .biz | Borders | Cary | REI | retail | Shopping

Cary's paddling, cycling and running enthusiasts can revel in increased REI gear selection when the outdoor equipment retailer relocates to Devonshire Place shopping center from Crossroads Plaza in the spring.

REI will move into a 27,000 square foot space left vacant by Borders after the bookseller filed for bankruptcy in February. 

With about 6,000 square feet in additional space at its new location, REI plans to add a new community space for more classes and presentations as well as expand product assortment in paddling, cycling and footwear, said REI spokeswoman Bethany Hawley.

Hawley said REI leadership had been looking to expand the Cary presence for some time. She could not comment on terms of the lease, which was announced on Nov .4.

The Walnut Street shopping center is operated by Brixmor Property Group. Other tenants include Dollar Tree, Golf Galaxy, Lifestyle Family Fitness and Monkey Joe's.

Target closing North Raleigh store in January

Target announced today that it is closing its North Raleigh store at 4700 Green Road due to its financial performance.

The store, which opened in 1995, will close Jan. 28.

Store employees will be offered the option of transferring to other nearby stores.

Target operates four other stores in Raleigh, including one at North Hills and one at 7900 Old Wake Forest Road.

The company also has Triangle stores in Apex, Durham, Garner, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Cary and Morrisville.

AT&T names new retail executive for the Carolinas

AT&T has named an executive to oversee the company's retail operations in North Carolina.

Lamont Therivel, 36, Therivel started this week as vice president and general manager of Mobility and Consumer Markets for North Carolina and South Carolina.

Therivel, based in Charlotte, oversees all AT&T consumer activities related to wireless, Internet, U-verse and other retail products. He's in charge of 70 AT&T stores in the Carolinas, but the company did not disclose the number of employees under his command.


Dillard's settles age discrimination suit against Cary employee

Tags: .biz | Dillard's | EEOC | retail

Dillard's Inc. will pay $50,000 and offer additional relief to settle an age discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a Cary employee.

According to the EEOC's complaint, Dillard's fired Virginia Keene from her position as an area sales manager at the store in Cary in November 2008. At the time she was 61 years old. The company then replaced her with a 24-year-old employee who only had four months of experience as an area sales manager. At the time of her termination, Keene ranked second out of six area sales managers at the Cary store in terms of sales, the EEOC said.

The suit alleged that the Arkansas-based retailer violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits employers from firing workers because of their age.

Dillard's declined to comment.

Raleigh's Seaboard could soon get new retail center

The owner of a key building in the Seaboard area north of downtown expects to begin converting the property into a small retail center by the end of the year.

St. Mary’s Associates, the partnership that owns the one-story building at 111 Seaboard Ave., has pre-leased more than half the 15,000 square feet planned for the center, said Settle Dockery, project director for York Ventures and a partner with St. Mary’s.

The renovated building will have a half dozen or more storefronts facing north towards Seaboard Ave., Dockery said.

“It’ll take an ugly building and make it pretty,” he said. “We’ve still got a ways to go but I think we’ve got our direction down.”

Two Triangle stores among Michaels locations with PIN pad tampering

Two Triangle-area Michaels stores are among seven in North Carolina that are now included on the retailer's list of stores where customer debit card information may have been compromised.

The breach, originally reported on May 4, was initially thought to only affect Chicago-area stores. However today, Michaels said a preliminary screening of all the PIN pads in its 964 U.S. stores found 80 that had been tampered with in Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

In the Triangle, the two affected stores were the one in Knightdale's Shoppes at Midway and the one in Raleigh at 5240 Capital Blvd. There was also one store in Matthews and four in Charlotte that were affected.

Michaels will be replacing all affected PIN pads within the next 15 days. The company urges customers to check their accounts and contact their credit or debit card issuer if they believe their accounts have been compromised.

Pantry reports second quarter loss, better margins on merchandise and gas

The Pantry reported a second quarter net loss this morning, but the company did see merchandise sales and its profit from gas rise during the quarter.

The Cary-based chain of 1,659 convenience stores mostly under the Kangaroo Express banner reported that its net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 was $269,000, or 1 cent per share. However, sales of in-store merchandise -- which have been the focus of an ongoing remodeling campaign by the company -- rose by 2 percent in stores open at least a year.

The company also benefitted from rising fuel profit margins. In the second quarter, the amount the Pantry made on gasoline rose by 22 percent compared with the first quarter of this year and 5.4 percent conpared with the second quarter of 2010. However, with Americans watching their money and driving less, the company sold fewer gallons this quarter -- roughly 4 percent less than the second quarter last year.

"Our improving execution contributed to expanded gross margins, higher productivity, and ultimately Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite persistently rising fuel prices," said CEO Terrance Marks in a statement released this morning. "Of equal importance, we continued to make progress against our core strategic initiatives of foodservice expansion and productivity growth."

Durham co-op donates $44,000 to Durham Central Market

The Durham Food Co-op is throwing its remaining financial support behind another organization with the same mission.

Co-op members voted at their last meeting to satisfy their remaining debts and donate the remaining assets of the co-op, or roughly $44,000, to the Durham Central Market's start-up efforts.

The co-op first opened in 1971 as the People's Intergalactic Food Conspiracy No. 1 on Broad Street, then relocated to West Chapel Hill Street in 1992. The retail store closed in 2008 and operated briefly as a buying club. But trustee Dan Read said the club has not done business in more than a year.

“We were sad to close the Co-op, but this was an easy decision for our members to make," Read said. "Durham Central Market will continue the proud tradition of community-owned food stores in Durham. We know the money will be used wisely, and we’re all looking forward to seeing each other in the aisles when it’s open."

Crabtree signs Arhaus furniture for Crate & Barrel space

Crabtree Valley Mall has found a big-name tenant to fill its vacant Crate & Barrel space.

Designer furniture retailer Arhaus has leased 20,000 square feet, including the entire Crate & Barrel store, the Foot Action space and part of the Deb store. The Deb store is going to be smaller and Foot Action will move near Belk in June.

Crate & Barrel left the mall early this year when it relocated its Triangle store to the Streets at Southpoint in Durham.

It will be the first store in the Carolinas for Arhaus. The company is looking at a January 2012 opening, though it may open before the holiday.

Belk to pay $55,000 to settle discrimination suit

Tags: .biz | Belk | EEOC | retail

Belk, Inc. will pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit that stemmed from a Santa hat.

Belk was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July alledging that the Charlotte-based department store chain unlawfully fired Myra Jones-Abid after she refused to wear a Santa hat and apron during the 2008 holiday season because of her religious beliefs.

Jones-Abid worked in the gift wrapping department at the Belk store in Raleigh's Crabtree Valley Mall. Her religion, Jehovah's Witness, prohibits her from recognizing holidays. She therefore refused to wear the holiday attire while working.

In addition to paying the $55,000 to Jones-Abid, the settlement announced today requires Belk to provide annual training on religious discrimination to all of its managers and supervisors at the Crabtree Valley Mall store. Belk must also post a notice on employees' rights under federal anti-discrimination laws and provide periodic reports to the EEOC on actions taken in response to employees who have requested accommodations due to their religious beliefs.

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