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BOSTON-Ten retailers made pitches for prime property at the International Conference of Shopping Center’s New England Idea Exchange conference at the Seaport Hotel Tuesday. Most have expansion plans that call for national growth as well.

From national chains like 7-Eleven and ice cream maker Cold Stone Creamery to lesser-known firms such as grocery cooperative Wakefern, locally based Ben Franklin Bank and children’s hair salon, Snip It, the companies were each looking for locations in high-traffic areas. The convenience store chain might be making the biggest expansion push into Massachusetts with plans to open 25 stores ranging in size from 1,800 sf to 2,400 sf within the Route 128 belt next year and an additional five to 10 stores in high-traffic suburban locations. The nation’s first convenience store chain already has more than 6,000 stores in the US and 26,503 stores worldwide.

Dick’s Sporting Goods already has several Massachusetts locations but is planning to expand by 40 stores throughout New England next year and 50 more in 2007. With 24 stores already in the northeast, Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores is still shopping around for new locations. The company said it is looking for 10- to 14-acres lots with room for 600 parking spaces in high-traffic areas.

YUM Brands, owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver and A&W root beer names, also has a strong New England presence with 747 existing stores but plans to open an additional nine co-branded eateries this year and add 20 more in 2006 and 2007. Fast food sub maker Quiznos, now 400 stores strong in the New England market, also is shopping for more locations.

Wakefern, which operates ShopRite and Price Rite grocery stores, is on the verge of signing seven New England leases and is looking for other retail options. Snip It, which started in Framingham and has only been franchising its concept since 2003, is planning a national move to have 40 stores on line by the end of this year and 100 stores by the end of 2007.

Athletic retailer Steve and Barry’s University Sportswear has only one Massachusetts store in Taunton and three others throughout New England, but is looking for additional locations. So is Cold Stone Creamery, which plans to open 414 ice cream shops this year alone. The Atlanta Bread Co., a 168-store casual concept restaurant is currently searching out its first location in Massachusetts.

Ben Franklin Bank, is seeking out “gap” locations between Routes 128 and 495 that are not served by larger banking institutions. The bank, which currently has nine branch offices, said it will open three to five new locations within the next five years.

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