Bed Bath & Beyond to buy World Market

Bed Bath & Beyond had its eye on rival Cost Plus, which operates under the World Market name, to expand sales of specialty foods and add more merchandise that shoppers can't easily find elsewhere.

A home goods retailer with two stores in the Charleston region is being snapped up by a larger rival. Bed Bath & Beyond announced Wednesday that it agreed to buy Oakland, Calif.-based Cost Plus Inc. for about $495 million.

Cost Plus, which operates under the names World Market and Cost Plus World Market, has seven South Carolina stores, including one each on Savannah Highway in West Ashley and at Azalea Square in Summerville.

Locally, Bed Bath & Beyond has retail outlets on Orleans Road in West Ashley, in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre and on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.

The two chains had been testing a specialty food department at some Bed Bath & Beyond stores for the past 18 months. The pilot program showed that the departments “could help generate in-store traffic and sharpen the edge against online retailers,” Cost Plus CEO Barry Feld said on the company's website.

Two new restaurants are in the works near East Bay Street in downtown Charleston. Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House at 12 Cumberland St. and 'Cesca Ristorante & Trattoria at 5 Faber St. will open this summer.

'Cesca, owned by Anthony Mazzola, will open in the former Buccaneer spot around Memorial Day.

Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House, owned by Philip Fisher and Todd Garrigan, will open in mid-June.

The Ballet Academy of Charleston has more than doubled in size after moving into a new studio at 1579 Savannah Highway in West Ashley. The new site in Charleston Executive Park near Kmart is 2,200 square feet, replacing the former 900-square-foot location.

The classical ballet school, which opened in 1993, will have a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.. Activities will include demonstrations of ballet classes, short performances from the Rainbow Fish Ballet, free trial classes for young children, free trial classes for adult beginner ballet and barre fitness, refreshments and a raffle.

Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative will hold a grand opening of its 20,000-square-foot retail store at 248 Robertson Blvd. in Walterboro from Monday through May 18.

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The center features a customer service area inside and a drive-through window outside. It also has a retail showcase with new wireless phones, new electronic items and many other of the cooperative's service-related accessories. Also, the cooperative's tech crew will be on-site to provide service for computer and networking needs.

The company also recently announced plans to build a fiber network throughout the county and upgrade its digital TV services. Look for discounts, music, prizes, food and drinks each day during the opening event.

Second Sunday on King Street falls on Mother's Day, so what better time to take mom for an outing to shop, stroll, dine and listen to music in downtown Charleston.

Also, stop by the information tent for chances to win tickets to the upcoming Spoleto Festival USA, as well as free two-hour parking vouchers.

King Street will be closed to vehicles from 1 to 5 p.m. between Calhoun and Queen streets.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or