It seems that retailing has always been nothing more than a funny game of real estate. st likely finds its origins in the earliest marketplace, where the vendors with the best corners seemed always to win. The same appears to hold true today. Witness the Kroger Co., which recently reported that real estate, plant and equipment accounted for nearly 50% of its total assets in 2001. Retailers have quickly learned that it's all about real estate from marketers as well. As a result, retailers ...

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