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Albertsons has inked a deal with Office Depot to test an arrangement under which the office supply retailer will supply some 700 office and school-related products to a "store within a store" inside 18 Albertsons stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix markets.

The food retailer already has similar arrangements with companies as varied as Starbucks and Toys R Us.
KC's View:
The branded "store within a store" concept is becoming increasingly popular, as chains like Toys R Us, FAO, Staples and Office Depot find their way into mainstream supermarkets; unbranded "store within a store" concepts, like the creation of "dollar aisles" to counter the popularity of dollar stores, also seem to be on the upswing.

The advantage of the latter, it seems to us, is that by being unbranded these concepts reinforce the store's brand.

The question that needs to be answered about the branded variety is whether, at the end of the day, they end up diminishing the stores' brand image.