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Checkout: Road to Singapore … Club Up … 1/2 Price Honchos

<STRONG>ROAD TO SINGAPORE:</STRONG> Kmart will open its first two Asian stores in Singapore, one in April and the second in July. They will be full-service Kmart discount units, and are part of a joint venture with Metro Private Ltd., a subsidiary of...

ROAD TO SINGAPORE: Kmart will open its first two Asian stores in Singapore, one in April and the second in July. They will be full-service Kmart discount units, and are part of a joint venture with Metro Private Ltd., a subsidiary of Metro Holdings Ltd., a retail organization in the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia.

Metro Private operates five department stores in Singapore, 15 factory outlets and a number of specialty stores and restaurants. Its parent has joint-venture operations with Cartier, Piaget and Toys “R” Us in Malaysia and Singapore, and it is a wholesale distributor for such brands as Monet, Tag Heuer, Hush Puppies and Browning.

CLUB UP: Price/Costco Inc. reported sales in the four weeks ended Jan. 16 rose 11 percent to $1.22 billion, with same-store sales up 2 percent.

The company, based in Kirkland, Wash., also said four warehouses will be closed as of Sunday. The clubs are Contra Costa, Bakersfield and Riverside in California and New Britain in Connecticut.

Saying it had contemplated the closings at the time of the merger of Price Co. and Costco Inc. in October, the company noted that the costs were already provided for in the $120 million merger and restructuring reserve reported in the first quarter ended Nov. 21. Price/Costco said it does not expect any additional expenses related to these closings.

1/2 PRICE HONCHOS: Richman Gordman 1/2 Price Stores, Omaha, Neb., has named Paul M. Bass Jr. chairman, succeeding Dan Gordman, who died last month. Gordman was founder of the company. Bass had been vice chairman. Dennis E. Reaves, president and chief executive officer, will add the title of vice chairman.

In addition, Jeff Gordman, vice president of planning and allocation, has been named a director. He joined the company in 1990 and is a grandson of Dan Gordman.

The retailer emerged from bankruptcy as a public company in October and operates 23 stores in the Midwest.