Retailers Put Brakes on Expansion

As economy lags, big chains open fewer stores
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 2:15 PM CST
The front entrance of a Target store in Cupertino, Calif. is seen Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007. As retailers reported their sales results on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, warehouse club operators like Costco Wholesale...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – America's biggest retailers are beginning to ease up on the construction of new stores, reversing the if-we-build-it-they-will-come trend of recent years, CNNMoney reports. Faced with decreasing sales in a slowing economy, chains such as Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, McDonald's, and Walgreen either have cut back on new stores or are considering doing so.

"If Plan A was to expand at all costs, many of these companies are now considering Plan B, which is to take a more cautious approach to capital expenditures," said one analyst. That includes close scrutiny of existing stores with an eye toward boosting profits. Closures were up 12% in the first half of 2007, an industry group said.