That was the topic of discussion at a workshop on the final dayof Spring Convention 2005 on Wednesday. Moderator Gar Herring, EVPof the MG Herring Group of Dallas, who sits on the developer sideof the table, said it's a matter of "know before you go. Do yourhomework--experience a retailer's merchandise and stores. Researchtheir requirements and their store opening strategy."

In terms of location, "know where we are in relation to yoursite--use common sense," added Doug Burr, real estate manager ofRalphs Grocery Co. of Los Angeles, one of three retailers on thepanel. "Don't just call us up blindly. There's a lot of sillinessout there."

"Go on the Internet to find out about us," urged Jim Pye,regional director of real estate for Famous Footwear, HoffmanEstates, IL. "Look in the phone book, call a store manager and talkto them for five minutes. It's easy to become knowledgeable.

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