NEW ANCHOR: Sears Merchandise Group has signed a letter of intent to become the fourth anchor at Chesterfield Towne Center in Richmond, Va.

Negotiations between Sears and The Macerich Co., which acquired the 607,000-square-foot regional mall in July, are now in the final stages. Subject to execution of final documentation, Sears will construct its own building and open a 145,000-square-foot store in fall 1996, said Edward Coppola, executive vice president for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich.

Chesterfield’s three other anchors are Hecht’s, Leggett’s and Proffitts department stores. The mall also has more than 140 specialty tenants.

MORE TIME FOR JAMESWAY: Jamesway Corp. has been granted a 46-day extension to its exclusivity period, giving the discount retailer until Oct. 31 to file a plan of reorganization.

If, as expected, the company’s disclosure statement is approved at a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 30, Jamesway’s exclusivity will be further extended to Jan. 2.

The extension gives the Secaucus, N.J.-based discounter plenty of time to have its plan confirmed in the anticipated yearend timetable.

CUTTING LOSSES: San Antonio, Tex.-based Discounter 50-Off Stores Inc. slashed its loss to $668,000 in the second quarter from $3.3 million a year ago. Sales in the quarter ended July 29 rose 7.7 percent to $44.7 million from $41.5 million.