Shoppers converged on I. Magnin's Beverly Hills store last week looking for something better than the usual post-Christmas bargains.
With the store preparing to close, prices on most merchandise have been cut by 60% to 70%, according to I. Magnin spokeswoman Shirley Wilson.
R.H. Macy & Co. announced in November that it would phase out its entire 12-store I. Magnin chain. Last week, Saks Fifth Avenue reported plans to buy the Beverly Hills I. Magnin site and combine it with its own store on adjacent property to create a West Coast flagship store.
In the meantime, the local I. Magnin plans to sell, sell, sell. No closing date has been set yet for the Beverly Hills store; Wilson said the doors would stay open while there is still a significant amount of merchandise in stock.
HELP WANTED: Operation Stitches, a nonprofit, Orange County-based organization geared toward keeping children away from gangs and drugs, is seeking help in finding $200,000 in clothing taken from its headquarters. The clothing was to be given to impoverished Los Angeles families.
"So far, the response has been slow," said Volmer Thrane, administrator of Operation Stitches, adding that the group has received fewer than 100 calls since its first plea for help on Dec. 20.
"The response is so small, we're kind of puzzled by it," he said.
The 17,500 pieces of donated clothing were to be surprise Christmas gifts to low-income families at several Los Angeles housing projects.
A tractor-trailer rig packed with the gifts was stolen on Dec. 13. The truck was found last week in Corona without its holiday cargo. Police there said they have made no arrests.
If the stolen clothing can't be found, supporters of the program hope to come up with enough donations to replace the items and have a post-Christmas surprise for the families.
"We are going to have a Christmas after Christmas," Thrane said.
Former Rams defensive lineman Rosey Grier and other program supporters asked for donations to replace the stolen gifts shortly after the theft.
Thrane said he hopes people who received clothing gifts for Christmas that they don't want will donate them rather than return them to stores.
"We are going to go back to these projects, and if we don't have enough (for all project areas), then we'll go to the ones with most need," he said.
Information: (800) 767-4774.
GIFT-WRAPPED: For that hard-to-please police detective on your Christmas list, nothing says "happy holidays" like a solved kidnaping case, gift-wrapped and topped with a ribbon.
A lucky West Hollywood sheriff's detective received just such a package last week, literally gift-wrapped information that provided the solution to an August, 1993, kidnaping, robbery and grand theft auto case in West Hollywood.
The gift-givers were neighboring Beverly Hills police detectives who--while investigating a recent homicide near the border of West Hollywood--came across information pointing to a suspect in the sheriff's case.
In that case, a man was kidnaped at gunpoint near Sunset Boulevard and Palm Avenue. He was then forced to remove money from an automated teller machine, ordered to undress and then forced from his car. The suspect is now serving time in state prison for an unrelated robbery.
Beverly Hills detectives packaged the paperwork, wrapped the box with Christmas paper, stuck a bow on top, and on Dec. 23 delivered it to the sheriff's station, where it warmed detectives' hearts.
Said Detective Joel Brown: "It was an outstanding investigation by Beverly Hills."