July 4, 2010 12:00 AM

For many retailers, road doesn't lead to Wichita

There's an old axiom in merchandising: "Rooftops, then retail." That axiom vanished earlier this decade as retail sales skyrocketed and revenue-hungry retailers began "greenfielding" — dropping in new stores where subdivisions might be built. Then the housing market tanked, the "rooftops" didn't get built, many of those stores failed and retailers grew risk-averse, making new stores tougher to land.

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