CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2013 |
Nearly three weeks after a statewide ban on plastic bags was rejected in Sacramento, the Los Angeles City Council is moving ahead with a similar measure to regulate carryout bags at supermarkets, pharmacies and some big retail chains. Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on the final draft of its grocery bag ordinance, which would impose fines of up to $500 for those who repeatedly distribute "single-use" plastic bags to customers. The proposed law, in the works for years, would apply to convenience stores, food marts and any large retailer that sells groceries, such as Target and Wal-Mart.
June 17, 2013 |
Google has teamed up with Wal-Mart and several other major retail partners to sell the company's Chromebook laptops at their stores. The Mountain View, Calif., tech giant said Chromebook laptops will now be sold at more than 6,600 stores, or three times as many stores as before. Wal-Mart began selling the Acer C7 $199 Chromebook at 2,800 of its stores Monday. PHOTOS: Top music subscription services This weekend, Google will also add Staples into the mix. The office supply retailer will sell Chromebook laptops from Samsung, Acer and HP at all of its more than 1,500 stores and through its website.
June 14, 2013 |
Tabitha Smith had been sick for about a week last November with what she thought was just a cold. When she didn't get better, her mom pushed her to see a doctor. "I told her I can't afford the doctor," says Smith, a 31-year-old social media manager who has been uninsured for five years. "I've gone in the past," she says, "and it's just been so expensive without insurance. " Ultimately Smith decided that Mother knows best. She headed to an urgent care clinic near her home in La Puente.
June 13, 2013 |
Retail sales improved in May as thawing temperatures and more cheerful shoppers caused a boost at car dealerships and home improvement stores, according to government figures. Last month, the gauge rose 0.6% from April to $421.1 billion in sales -- a 4.3% increase from the same period a year earlier, the Commerce Department said. Wall Street had expected a 0.4% month-to-month swell. In April, sales had increased 0.1% from March and 3.7% from the prior year. The data, which the government adjusted for seasonal and holiday variations, showed a 1.8% month-to-month surge in auto sales.
June 7, 2013 |
Consumers emerged in May to give retailers their best month since January, lured by warmer weather and the confidence lift from the surging stock market and rising housing prices. Same-store sales increased 4.8% from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 3.7% boost, according to Thomson Reuters. The gauge outperformed April's 2.2% upswing as well as the 0.5% increase in May 2012. Stripping out the effects of drugstores, last month's measure was up 5.6%. The data include revenue only from locations that have been open at least a year.
May 31, 2013 |
Consumers have been told by insurers again and again that if they want cheaper prices for prescription drugs, they need to order them in bulk from mail-order pharmacies. And typically, it works out that way. Sometimes, however, the prices reveal how screwy our healthcare system is - and what a challenge it can be to get a straight answer about medical costs. Jeff Zoldos, 61, had such an experience after his employer switched his coverage to Aetna at the beginning of the year.
May 30, 2013 |
After surviving a brutal recession that saw many chain retailers, restaurants and shops struggle and even go under, Southern California landlords are regaining the upper hand in rent negotiations. With shoppers willing to spend money again, signs of a retail revival in greater Los Angeles are starting to spread beyond destinations such as trendy Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood and malls in Calabasas to once less popular areas such as downtown Long Beach as well as Echo Park and Highland Park in Los Angeles.
May 29, 2013 |
Spanish retailer Zara is coming to downtown Los Angeles, bringing a dash of fast fashion to a district increasingly pegged as a potential shopping powerhouse. The 27,000-square-foot store that the trendy chain plans to open in the Figat7th shopping center next spring will be nearly three times the size of some Zara stores. The retailer is debuting downtown just as the neighborhood - already developing cachet as a culinary destination and residential center - starts to shed its reputation as a fashion desert.
May 26, 2013 |
Tea expert David DeCandia has spent his entire 17-year career in the shadow of coffee. At his employer, Los Angeles beverage chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, coffee comes first in the company name. It also takes up most of the company's processing facility in Camarillo and brings in 90% of the revenue. But more Americans are complaining that their coffee buzz feels like a hangover, citing concerns about over-caffeination and high prices. DeCandia is reading the tea leaves - and seeing a cultural shift toward his brew of choice.