Elder-Beerman Stores is to open its newest department store in Jasper, Indiana on November 17. The 55,000 sq ft store is the third new concept store Elder-Beerman has opened this fall and the fifth total. The company has announced that its sixth concept store in Stevens Point, Wisconsin will open in the spring of 2001. Growth of the concept store format in smaller markets is a key element of the company's three-part strategic plan announced in August of this year. "Retail is entering a new phase," stated Frederick J, Mershad, Elder-Beerman's chairman and chief executive officer. "And we believe our three-part strategic plan is allowing us to evolve from a traditional department store to a new kind of store. Our goal is to keep the best traits of a fashion department store and offer a competitive balance of price, selection, convenience and service." "The growth of our concept stores is very important to our three-part strategic plan," Mershad continued. "Concept store growth, along with our emphasis on value in our merchandising strategy and the increased efficiencies of our organisational structure, allows us to develop our own niche in a crowded retail landscape. Jasper fits perfectly into our new store strategy in terms of location and demographics. We look forward to serving new customers in that community."