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August 11, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Sears Hires New Boss to Run Stores: The giant retailer reached into the world of high fashion to pick a new boss for its struggling stores. Arthur C. Martinez, vice chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue, was named chairman and chief executive of the Sears Merchandise group. The assignment ends Sears Chairman Edward A. Brennan's direct oversight of the retailing business, a duty he took over two years ago from ousted retailing chief Michael Bozic.
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BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
The job : Bill Dombrowski is president of the California Retailers Assn., a trade group based in Sacramento that includes most of the country's largest store chains, including 7-Eleven Inc., Safeway Inc., Macy's Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc. For the last 20 years, he's crafted political and legislative strategies for the association, whose members generate more than $570 billion in annual sales and employ nearly 2.8 million people....
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BUSINESS
November 22, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Like the Cold War arms race, retailers' assault on Thanksgiving appears to have reached the point of unremitting insanity. Next week Target, Kohl's, K-Mart, Sears and many other retailers will be opening their stores for some Thanksgiving hours starting in the evening or earlier. They join Wal-Mart, which has always been open during Thanksgiving but which this year will be pumping up its holiday discounts to lure determined bargain-hunters into the stores. Plan on consuming a heaping helping of reports and videos of Thanksgiving Day mayhem, some of it possibly lethal, with your turkey leftovers next Friday.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2014 | By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
Between the bouncy music and the stacks of colorful jeans, visitors to the Benetton store on Chicago's Michigan Avenue might catch a whiff of a growing marketing trend. Mounted high in the corner beside the store entrance, a scent diffuser, installed in November, spreads a bright spring fragrance modeled after Benetton's Verde cologne. "It finishes the emotion we are trying to create in the store," said Robert Argueta, director of visual merchandising for the United Colors of Benetton, who also is testing the scent in Benetton's New York flagship store.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2012 | By Joyce Smith
Just putting a price on a product and sticking it on a shelf is so old school. And with consumers buying more online each year, bricks-and-mortar retailers are working harder to add entertainment to their mix - from American Girl's scavenger hunts to the Art of Shaving's product demonstrations. These experiences are something consumers can't get from online shopping. "You can buy a product just about everywhere. They are trying to add a different element so it is not just about the product," said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL/Strategic Retail, a retail strategy firm in New York.
BUSINESS
November 28, 2013 | By Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu
It's a retailer's worst nightmare: trampling, shoplifting and fighting on the busiest shopping day of the year. With several high-profile Black Friday incidents in recent years, merchants and shopping centers are on high alert. Security has been significantly beefed up and retailers have been training sales clerks on how to deal with crowds and protect not only customers but also employees and merchandise. "There's going to be double the security in stores on Black Friday morning," said Britt Beemer, chairman of consumer behavior firm America's Research Group.
OPINION
December 11, 2011
It's an increasingly common sight at the mall: shoppers using their smartphones to scan the barcode of an item they like and checking its price online. Some scanning applications go further, letting shoppers buy the item from a competing Web retailer with just a few taps on the screen. The largest online seller, Amazon.com, even offers customers up to $5 off the items they scan in other companies' stores. The brick-and-mortar shops may be able to match their online rivals' discounts, but there's one competitive disadvantage they can't overcome: Many online retailers do not collect sales taxes from customers outside of the state where they are headquartered.
BUSINESS
June 30, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Shopping at Amazon.com Inc. and other major Internet stores is poised to get more expensive. Beginning Friday, a new state law will require large out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases that their California customers make on the Internet — a prospect eased only slightly by a 1-percentage-point drop in the tax that also takes effect at the same time. Getting the taxes, which consumers typically don't pay to the state if online merchants don't charge them, is "a common-sense idea," said Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the legislation into law Wednesday.
BUSINESS
November 1, 2012 | By Shan Li
Shoppers hit the malls and handed retailers a healthy gain in October before Sandy pummeled the Northeast, a positive sign pointing to a decent holiday season head. Major chains posted a 2.7% increase in retail sales in October compared with the same month a year earlier, on par with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters' tally of 18 retailers. Excluding drugstores, however, retail sales are up 4.7%, exceeding expectations of 4.3%. Retailers are looking ahead to the effects that Sandy may have on consumers in the coming months, especially those in the hardest-hit states who will have to repair or rebuild their homes.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2010 | By Sandra M. Jones
As Americans' love affair with shopping cools, retailers are venturing overseas in search of growth. Bloomingdale's and Crate & Barrel each opened their first store outside the U.S. in Dubai this year. Abercrombie & Fitch just opened its first store in London. Sears has begun shipping tools and clothing to 90 countries. Macy's is looking at going into China. And Target, the discount chain that for a decade has resisted Wall Street pressure to expand internationally, revealed this spring that it wants to open stores outside the U.S. and is looking at Canada, Mexico and Latin America.
BUSINESS
April 14, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Americans rushed out to shop as frigid weather lifted in March, propelling retail sales at the fastest pace in a year and a half. The gauge from the Commerce Department surged 1.1% last month from February in its biggest leap since September 2012. Sales boomed 3.8% from March 2013. The strong sales, which beat economists' expectations for a 1% increase, bolstered hopes that the economy would continue to gain momentum after struggling through an especially harsh winter. "One month doesn't answer all the questions, and it's not like we have all-over-the-place exploding growth," said NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen.
BUSINESS
April 14, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Retail sales surged last month at their fastest pace in 1-1/2 years as consumer spending heated up after a harsh winter. The Commerce Department said Monday that seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 1.1% in March. Officials also revised February's figure up to a strong 0.7%, from an initially reported 0.3%. Economists had expected a 1% increase last month. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America "The consumer came in like a lamb and went out roaring like a lion," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Retailers had a middling March, watching their sales improve from a frigid February while struggling to beat their performance from the same month last year. Two main factors impeded growth last month, according to several reports released Thursday. Spring weather has been slow to come, leaving shoppers still shivering in cooler-than-usual temperatures. And in March 2013, retailers had the benefit of a revenue bump from Easter, which shifted this year to April 20. In one report, analyst Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics Inc. said March same-store sales rose 3.5% from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 2.5% boost.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - The recent hacking of customer data from Target Corp. computers is roiling the California Legislature. Last week, two members of the Assembly touted a bill to strengthen consumer safeguards and limit the type of information collected and retained by retailers. The measure, AB 1710, may trigger one of the year's biggest disputes over business-related legislation. "It'll be a big fight, a tough fight," said Bill Dombrowski, president of the California Retailers Assn.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Any parent with teenagers can tell you how tough it is to keep abreast of their fashion whims. Even more difficult: doing it for a living and making a profit at it. Tilly's Inc. of Irvine is a specialty retailer that targets teens and young adults with action sports clothing, shoes and accessories. Tilly's says on its website that it "offers one of the largest assortments of brands and merchandise from the top players in the surf, skate, motocross and lifestyle apparel industries.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
A Federal Reserve rule allowing banks to charge retailers 21 cents to process debit-card transactions has been upheld by a federal appeals panel, a blow to big merchants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. A lower court judge invalidated the fee cap in July, ruling that the Fed's formula included costs that weren't allowed under the Dodd-Frank regulatory reforms that Congress passed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. But in a ruling Friday for a three-judge panel, Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said the central bank's rules “generally rest on reasonable constructions of the statute.” GAS: See latest prices in Southland, nation Merchants, who had argued that they were entitled to a lower cap, expressed disappointment, while financial firms said they were relieved.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Weather in February was once again a roadblock for retailers, who said sales figures for the month missed already modest expectations. One gauge from Thomson Reuters found that same-store sales rose 1.8% last month, falling short of a projected 2.8% rise at stores open a year or longer. Without the effect of drugstores, retailers turned in a 0.3% sales increase, the worst showing since a 2.4% decrease in August 2009. Analysts had expected a 1.9% boost. Some segments, however, showed surprising health, or at least the promise of it. The clothing sector, not including Gap, beat estimates by swelling 1.3%.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | Stuart Pfeifer
If you're an outdoors enthusiast or weekend warrior, chances are you're a fan of Sport Chalet Inc. If you're an investor, well, that's another story. Living up to its moniker, "the Experts," Sport Chalet staffs its stores with marathon runners, professional triathletes, experienced divers, snowboarders and skiers. The goal is to present athletes with a top-notch shopping experience they won't get in big-box or discount retailers -- or on Amazon.com, which has been swallowing up business from brick-and-mortar retailers for years.
BUSINESS
March 17, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Twenty-eight attorneys general from 24 states, three U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. are pressuring five retailers, including Walgreen Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to follow the move by CVS Caremark Corp. and end sales of tobacco.  CVS Caremark in early February announced it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. The pharmacy and retail chain, which has increased its business providing medical care through clinics, said "the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent" with its purpose.  Health advocates cheered the move and said it would probably spur other retailers to do the same.  The effort was spearheaded by Eric T. Schneiderman and Michael DeWine, attorneys general of New York and Ohio, respectively.
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