Archive for Saturday, January 29, 2005

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January 29, 2005

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Chico's moving into downtown shop

A national retailer of casual women's clothing is set to move into downtown space vacated more than a year ago by another national retailer.

Chico's is expected to open in June at 643 Mass., taking half of the space once occupied by Eddie Bauer.

Fort Myers, Fla.-based Chico's has 655 stores, primarily under the name Chico's but also as White House/Black Market and Soma by Chico's.

GCB Holdings, which owns the building, is renovating 3,000 square feet of space to be occupied by a national clothing retailer, said Tim Fritzel, president of GCB Holdings.

Fritzel declined to identify the tenant, and company officials also have declined comment.

"It will be very complimentary to the existing tenant mix we have," said Fritzel, whose downtown buildings already are home to clothing retailers Talbot's, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters.

Banking

Financial 'Express' pulls into Lawrence

A bus loaded with financial information is rolling into Lawrence, part of a nationwide drive to boost financial literacy and awareness.

The bus, dubbed the Five Star Service Express, will pull up Saturday morning to US Bank, 900 Mass. Onboard will be bankers, mortgage professionals and business specialists promoting home ownership and financial education.

The Internet-equipped bus trip is sponsored by US Bank, Freddie Mac and the Community College Foundation.

"We're not waiting for people to come to us," said Lisa Clark, a spokeswoman for US Bank. "We're driving out to see them."

The bus will be at the bank from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. It also will stop by the Lawrence Bridal Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds; and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in the parking lot at Checkers, 2300 La.

Economy

Economic growth hits five-year high

Economic growth slowed a bit in the final stretch of 2004, expanding at a still respectable 3.1 percent pace. For all of last year, though, the economy clocked in at its fastest clip since 1999, a compelling sign that the recovery is more deeply rooted.

The Commerce Department's latest gross domestic product figures, released Friday, showed the GDP increasing by 4.4 percent in 2004. That was up from 3 percent in 2003 and marked the best showing since 1999, when the economy grew by 4.5 percent.

Brisk spending by consumers and businesses propelled economic growth last year.

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