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BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Yifan Zhu
As Chinese tourists spill from their tour bus into the Beverly Center, Charlie Gu hands each one a sleek black envelope. Inside: a Chinese-language map of the mall and a special discount card. Gu, the center's Mandarin-speaking Chinese specialist, asks shoppers about what they're looking for and circles relevant stores on the map. "L.K. Bennett is a favorite of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge," he advises one. "You should definitely take a look. " The personal touch is more than just the usual attempt to cozy up to well-heeled shoppers.
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NEWS
January 6, 2014 | By Ted Rall
On New Year's Day, Los Angeles became the biggest city in the United State to ban plastic bags. Mayhem was anticipated. OK, not mayhem. Just extreme agitation. "If they don't give me a bag, what am I going to do?" The Times quoted an "incredulous" William Macary as saying at a Wal-Mart back in June. "If I pay money, I want a bag. " I feel for him. If I pay money, I want a pony. And a car. And those $350 Italian shirts I lust for when I go to Vegas. YEAR IN REVIEW: Ted Rall's five best cartoons of 2013 Believe it or not, plastic bags were originally introduced as the eco-friendly alternative to paper bags.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2012 | By Frank Shyong
Shoppers surged into an Urban Outfitters store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica after midnight Friday and smashed a tall glass door, injuring about five people, authorities said. Paramedics treated a few shoppers for minor cuts but no one was transported to the hospital by ambulance, said Sgt. Marty Fine of the Santa Monica Police Department. "It was just too many people, too fast," Fine said. PHOTOS: The Black Friday rush Around midnight, at least 100 people had lined up for Urban Outfitters' Black Friday deals, which offered up to 50% off on some items.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2012 | By Joseph Serna and Andrew Khouri
For some bargain-hunters, Black Friday just isn't early enough. Around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, about 40 people stood outside Target at the Glendale Galleria, the line snaking onto Colorado Street. Honey Manuel of Silverlake was first in line, having been there since 2:30 p.m. "What I am doing now is an adventure," Manuel said as a band of teenagers stood nearby grooving to music playing from a phone inside the jacket pocket of their long- haired friend. PHOTOS: Black Friday shoppers hunt for deals In what is becoming something of a Thanksgiving tradition for retailers, businesses lured shoppers with Christmas sales several hours before the clock struck midnight Thursday, not long after some families cleared their tables of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Across Southern California, shoppers were lining up for door-buster bargains, Black Friday deals and a shot at some of the most sought after gifts of the season.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2012 | By Shan Li
Shoppers scrambling to buy last-minute presents but avoid the malls spent $1.01 billion on this year's Free Shipping Day. The annual event is scheduled to take place on the last day that orders delivered by ground can be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. This year, that was Monday, Dec. 17, when more than 1,000 retailers offered free shipping. Free Shipping Day was the beginning of a hectic workweek for online merchants, who raked in $3.69 billion during last week's five weekdays, up 53% from the same period last year, according to research firm ComScore.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Catherine Saillant and Matt Stevens
Attention Los Angeles shoppers: The plastic bag is disappearing from more than just the supermarket. L.A. on Tuesday became the newest and by far the largest city to back a ban on plastic grocery bags, approving an ordinance that applies not just to food stores and mini-marts but also big retail chains with their own groceries, such as Target and Wal-Mart. The ordinance, which has been in the works for years, will go into effect gradually, reaching large stores Jan. 1 and smaller ones July 1, 2014.
NEWS
September 15, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
It was an unexpectedly tame and well-behaved affair - until the bags were rolled out. At a Target store in West Hollywood, about 10 minutes after the 8 a.m. launch of the retailer's much-anticipated 3.1 Phillip Lim collection, many of the roughly 150 shoppers who had waited in line in the wee hours were still milling about the already stripped racks. They been let into the store in groups of five. Although some had half-jogged to the display of womenswear, menswear and accessories, the shoppers were largely polite to each other, friendly even, as they heaped armfuls of dresses and tops into shopping carts.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Trader Joe's came out on top of a list of favorite North American grocery chains, chosen by more than 6,600 consumers surveyed by Market Force Information. The report, released Wednesday, showed Publix Super Markets and Whole Foods Market rounding out the top three favorites. In the West, Safeway ruled the list. Kroger led in the South and the Midwest, and Stop & Shop reigned in the Northeast. In Canada, Loblaws was the preferred brand. Wal-Mart had the lowest satisfaction score of the 30 brands studied -- even though its score was nearly four out of five, with five the best possible score.
NEWS
December 23, 2013 | By Alicia Banks
And the “#BeyGood” season continues. Beyoncé stopped by a Wal-Mart in Tewksbury, Mass., on  Friday, shocking hundreds of holiday shoppers with her presence alone. But a simple appearance with hugs and smiles to customers around wasn't the only surprise Beyoncé had in store, according to media reports. After a brief introduction over the intercom, Queen Bey wished everyone a Happy New Year and opened a tab of her own: The first $50 of everyone's holiday shopping was on her. It was a “Merry Christmas” wish to the tune of $37,500 before the singer took the stage as part of her Mrs. Carter Show world tour.
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