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LAKE SUCCESS, NY-Lease disposition and restructuring firm Excess Space Retail Services is assisting Rent-A-Center with the closure of 220 stores in 39 states. The process is part of the 3,355-unit rent-to-own chain “routinely pruning their portfolio,” Michael Wiener, president and chief executive office of Excess Space, told GlobeSt.com.

The stores are in the bottom 5% to 10% of the Plano, TX-based chain’s sales productivity and average 2,400 sf to 13,000 sf. Wiener gave no timeline for the disposition process and didn’t speculate on what possible tenants could replace the stores.

Excess Space represents a number of national retail chains. Recent clients have included Big Lots, Caribou Coffee, the Home Depot and others.

During its most recently released quarter Rent-A-Center’s same-store sales fell 1.8% year over year due to what executives said was overall economic pressure. Over the coming fiscal year, the company plans to add 40 new stores.

Same-store sales through 2008 are forecast to come in from 0% to 2% year over year. Financial-services departments, which are now in 282 units, will be added to another 200 stores.

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