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February 06 , 2009

Retailers juggle starts, stops as economy stays on shaky ground

Houston Business Journal - by Allison Wollam

Buy Buy Baby Inc. is making aggressive plans to enter the Texas market while another retailer, Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers Inc., has halted its expansion plans in the area.

Buy Buy Baby, an affiliate of the Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. retail chain, is bucking the retail slowdown by completing its first deal in Texas and is in the process of scouting other sites in the state.

“We are looking at deals throughout Texas,” says David Stukalin, president of The Retail Connection’s Houston office who is serving as Buy Buy Baby’s broker. “With a lot of the big box retailers leaving the market, we are going to be able to find some prime locations.”

Stukalin would not disclose the location of the company’s first Texas deal.

But Catherine Gentile, public relations manager for Buy Buy Baby, says the retailer doesn’t yet have any signed leases in the Houston market.

Stukalin says, however, that the Houston market is on the radar for the company, which offers nursery and children’s furniture, car seats, feeding and nursing products, toys and activity centers and clothing and accessories.

Buy Buy Baby’s stores span between 28,000 square feet and 60,000 square feet and offer more than 20,000 products for babies and children.

The stores also offer a computerized gift registry and home delivery, including furniture delivery and assembly.

The Garden City, N.Y.-based chain currently operates 12 stores in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Virginia.

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