On Whitehouse.gov today there’s a post declaring that the government has a stupidly large amount of real estate that taxpayers are paying to maintain — but that it doesn’t really need.
Sears Tower, the tallest building in the U.S. and abandoned stronghold of the once-powerful Sears, Roebuck & Co., is no more. Its name will be changed to Willis Tower later this year as part of a big leasing agreement with London-based insurer Willis Group Holdings, Ltd. The Chicago Tribune notes that although everyone still calls it Sears Tower, Sears actually moved out in 1992.
The New York Times reports that several supermarket and retail chains, including Safeway, Walmart, and Whole Foods, are beginning to experiment with much smaller store sizes that emphasize things like cafes, prepared meals, and produce. The idea is to emphasize speed over choice, and was apparently triggered by UK competitor Tesco, which has launched over 70 small-format supermarkets in Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California over the past year. Of course, the stores also require less shelf space for products than they did a year ago.