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Retail roundup: Banana Republic, South Bay Galleria, Best Buy

June 30, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Electronics chain Best Buy might go private. Above, a store in Virginia in 2003.
Electronics chain Best Buy might go private. Above, a store in Virginia… (Stefan Zaklin / Getty Images )

-- Banana Republic will launch a holiday collection in October inspired by the film "Anna Karenina," the big-screen adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel coming out this fall. 

The retailer brought on Jacqueline Durran, the movie's costume designer, to style a capsule collection based on 19th century Russian fashions -- but with a modern spin. Banana Republic has previously enjoyed success plumbing history with its "Mad Men"-inspired collections of sheath dresses and suits.

The "Anna Karenina" collection will include apparel and accessories using velvet, faux fur, lace and other materials evoking that period of Russian history.

-- The South Bay Galleria mall in Redondo Beach has expanded its retail lineup, adding fast-fashion clothier H&M and jewelry company Pandora as well as new restaurants.

H&M has been enjoying healthy profits as shoppers indulge in inexpensive fashions. In its second quarter, which ended May 31, the Swedish retailer posted a profit of $750 million, up 23% from the same period last year. H&M's expansion strategy includes to opening 275 new stores worldwide in its current fiscal year.

-- Best Buy founder Richard Schulze is considering taking the electronics chain private, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Schulze stepped down as company chairman in May after an internal probe found he knew of former Chief Executive Brian Dunn's inappropriate relationship with an employee and failed to report it. Dunn stepped down as CEO in April.

Schulze remains Best Buy's largest shareholder, with a stake of about 20%. Citing people familiar with the situation, the report said that Schulze was working with bankers to consider his options, which include selling his stake.

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