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KB Considering Mass Store Closings

A scary report in the Washington Post talks of KB Toys' plans to potentially close 156 stores in early January, which could be viewed as an indication that the company doesn't foresee itself having a very strong holiday season.

The company, which has fewer than 600 stores, plans to hand over management of the selected shops to Gordon Brothers liquidators on Thursday and shut them for good in January, according to a memo from a KB executive to employees. In another memo, dated Oct. 29, KB said it planned to close stores at Fair Oaks Mall, Manassas Mall and Dulles Town Center in Virginia and Bowie Town Center, Montgomery Mall and Silver Spring's City Place Mall in Maryland.

The documents were provided by a store manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the company has not publicly released the information. Geoffrey Webb, KB Toys director of advertising and sales promotion who also handles media inquiries, declined to comment on the documents or potential store closings. KB Toys Chief Executive Andrew Bailen had said in news reports in August that the company planned to close a significant number of stores this fall.

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