Tuesday, January 5, 1999

Ross to open downtown

Star-Bulletin staff


Ross Stores Inc. plans to open its ninth Hawaii store at the downtown Honolulu site formerly occupied by Woolworth.

The Newark, Calif.-based retailer today said it expects to open the Ross Dress for Less store at Executive Centre in the latter half of this year, probably in the fall.

The company is leasing about 66,000 square feet of space on three floors, but initially plans to occupy only two of those floors, said spokeswoman Katie Loughnot. The downtown store will be one of the discounter's largest in the state. Woolworth Corp., now called Venator Group Inc., used to run a five-and-dime store at the site, but closed it and 12 other Hawaii stores in 1997.

Despite Hawaii's tough economy, the state has been a good market for Ross, with its local stores being among the company's top performers, Loughnot said. She said the downtown store will employ at least 35 to 40 people, the typical staff for a Ross store in Hawaii. Ross currently operates five stores on Oahu, two on the Big Island and one on Maui.

The company is leasing the Executive Centre site from MKS Executive Partners.

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