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NEW YORK CITY-National chains are assessing the damage done to their stores in the Gulf Coast from Hurricane Katrina, and some companies are issuing reports saying that many of their properties in the region will be closed indefinitely. Due to the hazardous conditions in affected locales, retailers are often unable to determine what damage has taken place.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, based in New Orleans, is temporarily moving its headquarters to Orlando as a result of the storm. The company’s two local restaurants sustained wind and flood damage, and there is no timeline for their reopening. Plans to open a restaurant on Sept.1 in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, MS were put on hold until next year, as that resort was hit hard by Katrina.

AFC Enterprises, the Atlanta-based operator of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, has closed 95 to 100 of their units in the Gulf Coast due to power loss and flooding. Of those, 36 company-owned units in the New Orleans area are closed.

Dallas-based Brinkers says 14 Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina locations in Louisiana and Mississippi are shut due to damages. Those units represent about 1% of revenue for the company, executives say.

According to grocer Winn-Dixie’s website, 38 stores in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were closed as of Sept. 1 due to damages, while 23 were running on generator power and not selling perishable food items.

Discount giant Dollar General has 131 closed stores, and executives say some of those units have been permanently destroyed. The Goodlettsville, TN-based company is donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. Matthews, NC-based competitor Family Dollar reported that between 50 and 60 stores were damaged.

The Sports Authority, of Englewood, CO, has three closed stores in the New Orleans area and is trying to contact its employees there to confirm their safety. Customers at their stores will be given the option to contribute to relief efforts as part of their total transaction.

Many retailers are also pledging millions of dollars toward relief efforts. Wal-Mart is committing $15 million, and officials at Wichita, KS-based Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon say they are donating 100% of their Labor Day sales to the American Red Cross. Reports say that about 20 Wal-Marts are still closed due to the storm.

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