Instead of hearing about massive store closures this year, wecould get more news about chains opening their doors, according toa just-released retail report by CB Richard Ellis. Thereport surveyed executives at just over 100 retail companies --most of them national -- and found that more than 90% of therespondents planned to boost store counts. One chain highlightedwas 7-Eleven. "With other retailers shedding stores, 7-Eleven is ina position to acquire top retail space that wasn't available a fewyears ago," said Dan Porter, that company's vice president of realestate and new store development. Additionally, about 70% of thosepolled said that the economy is either stable or improving. Nearlyhalf said they expect rental rates to decrease and 43% expected nochange in those numbers. Do these chains seem a bit optimisticabout the picture out there or is it truly a good time for them totake advantage of better pricing? Also, is over expansion afactor?

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