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Heck’s Inc. will close down a fifth of its stores.

The Nitro, W. Va.-based regional department store chain has 158 stores. It plans to cut its headquarters staff and eliminate stock dividends to try to stem continuing losses. William Bragg, Heck’s corporate counsel, said the chain plans to close 29 stores, targeting those in the perimeter of Heck’s nine-state territory and those in areas where the economy is poor. The retailer has not reported an annual profit since 1983. The announcement followed the collapse of a proposed buyout by a New York investment group.


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