Until recently, Ames, among the nation's largest regional,full-line discount retailers, boasted more than 400 stores in theNortheast, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West, employed 35,000 people andbrought in annual sales of approximately $4 billion. The bottomstarted falling out in November, when Ames announced plans to close32 stores, including 31 of the stores it acquired from Hills StoresCo. in December 1998.

Last week, Ames stumbled again, announcing that it had filed forChapter 11 protection and that it would shutter 47 stores. Includedin the latest round of closings, which is expected to be completedby October, seven stores--five in Ohio, one in Virginia and one inPennsylvania--are leased from Kimco. Total space is roughly 700,000sf.

According to information available on the Kimco Web site, of the10 Ohio-based Ames Plaza shopping centers owned by Kimco,already-vacant Ames anchor stores include a 103,500-sf space inKent; 108,596-sf in Akron; 99,862 sf in North Olmstead and 104,340sf at the Ames Plaza in Middleburg.

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