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Holiday Season

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BUSINESS
November 16, 2010 | Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for: Hot toys ? Most years, popular toys sell out at stores across the country during the holiday season, creating an opportunity for con artists, the Better Business Bureau warned in a bulletin, " 'Tis the Season for Holiday Scams. " Thieves will occasionally advertise those red-hot toys on Craigslist or EBay, at inflated prices, but fail to deliver the goods once they've received the money. The bureau suggests that consumers attempt to deal only with local sellers on Craigslist and arrange to meet in person to pay for the goods.
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BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
J.C. Penney Co., the retailer attempting a return to glory using deep discounts and Super Bowl tweets typed with mittens, said its holiday sales grew last year for the first time since 2011. The Plano, Texas, company said sales at stores open at least a year were up 3.1% during the all-important nine weeks of the holiday season, compared with the same period in 2012. For the full fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on Feb. 1, so-called same store sales were up 2%. The chain suffered a 32% plunge in same-store sales during the same quarter a year earlier.
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BUSINESS
November 18, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. In addition to good times with family and friends, the holiday season brings a number of potential threats for consumers. Here is some advice, provided by the Better Business Bureau. Watch your wallet - Don't become so distracted when making purchases that you leave your purse, wallet or shiny new iPhone unattended; it takes just a moment for a thief to swoop in and ruin your day. Also, do not leave your credit cards in open view for too long.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is laying off 2,300 employees in its Sam's Club division as it tries to make its workforce leaner. In total, 2% of the 116,000 Sam's Club employees in the U.S. will lose their jobs. Employees were being informed of the layoffs Friday, spokesman Bill Durling said. Sam's Club, a membership-based warehouse chain in the mold of Costco, said nearly half the cuts will affect salaried assistant managers. In the fresh goods area, where previously there were six separate assistant managers, now three more senior and better-paid managers are to oversee a meat and deli block, a grocery and produce section and a bakery and cafe segment.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Best Buy Co. watched its stock plunge more than 27% in morning trading Thursday after announcing poor holiday results that suffered from heavy competition and deep discounting. The consumer electronics retailer said revenue for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4 slumped 2.6% to $11.45 billion from the same period a year earlier. Same store sales slipped 0.9% in the U.S., though they managed at 0.1% boost internationally. In late morning trading in New York, Best Buy stock tanked nearly 28%, or $10.45, to $27.11 a share.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 1993
'Tis the season to be jolly, but the only jolly person I've come across is a Santa Claus-and he gets paid for it. SEAMAN JACOBS Beverly Hills
BUSINESS
September 22, 2011 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Retail industry groups are predicting a subdued holiday season, with smaller gains than in 2010, as consumers struggle with prolonged economic worries. The International Council of Shopping Centers on Wednesday forecast that U.S. holiday sales would post a moderate gain, with sales expected to increase 2.2% during the November-December period compared with the same period last year. The group said retail momentum had been good lately but that there were economic roadblocks ahead that could dampen sales.
NEWS
October 25, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
It's not too early to enjoy a Christmas package -- especially one that comes before the holidays. Skiers and snowboarders get an early jump on Christmas this year at with a family package (not the kind you wrap) at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado that kicks in before Dec. 25. The Grandest Christmas Package is good for those who want to enjoy the slopes as well as tubing and other activities at the on-site Adventure Park. It comes with four nights at the resort's Grand Lodge, lift tickets for three days and access to the Adventure Park.
BUSINESS
September 30, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Kmart, which heavily promoted its layaway options during the last two holiday seasons, is expanding the program in anticipation of another tough Christmas. The extended layaway program allows customers to select their items and make biweekly payments over 10 to 12 weeks, an increase from eight weeks; items are picked up after they've been paid in full. The discount chain is also making more items eligible to be placed on layaway, such as washers, dryers and other big-ticket items.
BUSINESS
January 11, 2013 | By Shan Li
Shares of Best Buy Co. jumped more than 16% after the electronics giant had a better-than-expected showing during the crucial holiday season. Although results for the entire fourth quarter are not expected to be released until Feb. 28, analysts say strong online sales and better traffic into its U.S. stores during the holiday season are positive signs for the struggling retailer. Wall Street responded by sending shares of Best Buy up $2, or 16.4%, to $14.21. Still, some results from Best Buy were below those for the same period a year earlier.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Best Buy Co. watched its stock plunge more than 27% in morning trading Thursday after announcing poor holiday results that suffered from heavy competition and deep discounting. The consumer electronics retailer said revenue for the nine weeks ended Jan. 4 slumped 2.6% to $11.45 billion from the same period a year earlier. Same store sales slipped 0.9% in the U.S., though they managed at 0.1% boost internationally. In late morning trading in New York, Best Buy stock tanked nearly 28%, or $10.45, to $27.11 a share.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
In the same breath as it announced a “successful” holiday season, Macy's Inc. said it would lay off some 2,500 employees as it attempts to achieve $100 million in savings a year. In addition to the workers losing their jobs, some associates will be reassigned or transferred, the retailer said. Not all open positions will be filled. Among the positions targeted: district merchandise planners for Macy's soft home categories, whose responsibilities will be handed off to regional and national organizers.
BUSINESS
January 8, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Santa slacked off during the holidays, delivering a solidly so-so season for retailers. Shoppers were less impressed and more careful during the season compared with the previous one, doing their research before picking through shelves of uninspiring and often deeply discounted merchandise, according to a flurry of data, estimates and analyst notes released this week. Consumers spent $265.9 billion at stores during November and December, causing sales to rise 2.7% from a year earlier, according to initial results from data firm ShopperTrak.
OPINION
December 25, 2013
Re "Rare type o guy," Dec. 24 I know that tragic or otherwise negative events tend to make the news more than uplifting stories. As a result, we faithful readers get a relentless reporting of stories that are sad, scary or downright depressing. This article, however, about math teacher Jim O'Connor - who spends so much time giving at Children's Hospital Los Angeles - is a welcome change. Here is someone who makes a difference in the lives of others without any expectation of notoriety.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2013 | David Lazarus
Spoiler alert: There's a really good chance you'll get a gift card for Christmas. That's not a news flash from the North Pole. It comes instead from the National Retail Federation, which estimated in a recent report that more than 80% of shoppers will be including the plastic gift cards inside greeting cards this holiday season. The average person will spend about $163 on gift cards, the group's survey found. That's up 4% from last year and represents the highest average amount since the retail association began tracking such things 11 years ago. Total spending on gift cards this season will reach about $30 billion, the group said.
BUSINESS
December 22, 2013 | By James Barragan
Like millions of Americans, Jessica Hamilton of Pasadena will buy her friends and family a handful of gift cards this holiday season, drawn by their convenience. Yet Hamilton, who carries reusable bags when she goes shopping, is bothered by the thought of all of that plastic ending up in landfills along with worn-out hotel key cards, credit cards and the like. In 2012, the global card industry produced 33 billion cards, according to the International Card Manufacturers Assn. Most of those cards contained polyvinyl chloride, a plastic that contains pollutants that are harmful to the environment and is slow to decompose.
IMAGE
November 27, 2011 | By Melissa Magsaysay, Los Angeles Times
Dressing for the holidays is part of the season's fun. But forget the images you see in fashion magazines and on feel-good television commercials. In Southern California, the weather seldom requires swaddling in a plaid cashmere scarf, chunky fleece-lined boots, nubby cable sweater and peacoat. And we try to be savvy enough to just say no to a tacky Christmas sweater (unless we mean to wear it in an ultra-cool, ironic way). So how in this land of seasonless dressing does one add holiday cheer when the weather outside is far from frightful?
BUSINESS
December 21, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
In store after store, signs trumpeted 50%-off deals, buy-one-get-one-free promotions and free gift cards with purchases. Shoppers scuttled past holiday decorations with bags hanging from their hands to their elbows. A little girl at Old Navy begged her mother to ask Santa to buy her three glittery plastic bracelets in different colors. Black Friday? Try Super Saturday. The start of the last weekend before Christmas is indisputably one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
HOME & GARDEN
December 20, 2013 | Chris Erskine
With its rosy-cheeked sunsets and chiseled good looks, California is as fine a place as any to celebrate the solstice and all its attendant after-parties. Christmas, for one. After observing 55 of them, I'm starting to think this little celebration might really be taking off. In California, you don't really need to hang lights this time of year. Where Eastern states turn sullen and sooty, California has this natural December glow, the sun buttering up the aspen or backlighting the mountaintops.
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