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Warehouse to become mall rat?

Friday 1st September 2000

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Listed retail juggernaut The Warehouse is not saying whether it has lodged an offer for Australian retail giant Coles Myer's local Kmart stores - a move that would give the standalone chain a mall presence.

In Australia Coles Myer stock has gained some support after it indicated it would sell its loss-making New Zealand operations Kmart and Katies.

The Warehouse has been the only suggested buyer for Kmart's 11 local stores.

"Any sale would be on The Warehouse's terms - with Kmart sales falling, the red ink's flowing heavily on the Coles Myer [balance sheet]," one analyst said.

The Warehouse earlier bought the purpose-built Wanganui Kmart site and refitted it.

Analysts believed The Warehouse could come up with the cash to buy Kmart despite its recent buying spree across the Tasman.

The Warehouse announces its annual results on Monday.

- Nicholas Bryant

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