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INDIANAPOLIS—As the retail market struggles to make its comeback, two trends seem to be growing in terms of store loss and development: big boxes are shrinking and outlets are taking over. Two main Midwest-based store brands, Sears and Best Buy, announced plans in the first quarter to shrink both store count and store size. However, Simon Property Group and Taubman Centers, both Midwest mall developers, have gone on an outlet-building tear, sometimes even competing in the same market.

Hoffman Estates, IL-based Sears is still working to close more than 120 of its 4,000 stores, including some Kmart locations. The company had reported a $2.4-billion loss for the fourth quarter and recently hired Mall Properties Inc. president and CEO David Lukes to take over its real estate development division.

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