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IMAGE
December 26, 2010 | By Emili Vesilind, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's the day after Christmas, and you're staring down a small mound of gifts you'd never ? not in a million years ? purchase for yourself. How to flip that reindeer sweater into a chic cashmere scarf without getting into a tangle with a salesperson? We asked Trina Gupta, founder of Los Angeles-based personal shopping firm Petite Style Studio, to give us her tips on how to return or exchange unwanted merchandise with little to no fuss. Delay and expect to pay "Time is the biggest factor when returning something," Gupta said, "because the stores want to be able to resell the product, and the longer you wait, the less relevant that product becomes.
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BUSINESS
September 11, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Among the funky boutiques, tattoo parlors and foodie restaurants that line eclectic Melrose Avenue, there's a new sight that has longtime store owners and shoppers alarmed: a glut of empty storefronts and for-lease signs. The situation has gotten so bleak in recent months that along one stretch of Melrose, between Fuller and Martel avenues, one-third of the stores are vacant. And that's despite drastic rent reductions from landlords: A few years ago, retail space went for $5 to $6 a square foot, commercial real estate agents said, but prices lately have fallen to $2 to $3 a square foot — rates not seen in more than a decade.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2010 | By Sandra M. Jones
Early this fall, James Reinhart noticed something odd happening at ThredUp, the children's clothing swap site the Harvard Business School graduate and his buddies dreamed up a year ago. Swappers started using the online exchange to trade toys. As the volume of toy trading increased, ThredUp decided there was enough demand to expand its service. The San Francisco start-up officially launched its toy exchange site Dec. 6, just as holiday shopping shifted into full gear. The turn of events at ThredUp signals how dramatically shopping is changing in the wake of the Great Recession.
NEWS
January 28, 2012 | By Alice Short, Assistant managing editor/features
Travel is broadening, we are told. The experience of new customs and foods and landscapes  is sure to make us better citizens of the planet. And while we have no quarrel with this worldview, for some of us, travel is about shopping - not to the exclusion of all that other spirit-enhancing stuff, but rather, as a soul-affirming enhancement. It's the thrill of a great find - a secret designer outlet store, an antique bracelet, or a great pair of shoes. Most of us deserve only an “amateur” rating when it comes to shopping while traveling, but a series of experts will gather at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show for a panel  titled “In the Bag: A Shopper's Guide to the World.”  The event is in the L.A. Convention Center's West Hall.
NEWS
July 12, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
As a heat wave sweeps eastward through much of the United States, residents of the affected cities are bracing for the worst. A few words of advice: Protect your young, your elderly and your residents of bad shopping areas. It's true. People who live in areas without "inviting" businesses are more at risk of dying. A 2006 study published in the American Sociological Review looked at the 1995 heat wave in Chicago and found that mortality rates were higher in areas where businesses were not well tended and leaned toward the bar-and-liquor-store variety.
BUSINESS
December 17, 1987 | From Reuters
A Houston consumer electronics concern said it is terminating its shop-by-television operation, citing doubts about "whether the home shopping industry is viable into the 1990s." Entertainment Marketing Inc. said it will terminate its Consumer Discount Network home shopping unit Dec. 21 to stem losses in the division. While the division's sales grew rapidly in the first nine months of 1987 to $6.6 million from $721,591 the year before, losses grew even more quickly.
TRAVEL
July 20, 2008 | Rosemary McClure
Grab a cafe au lait at a sidewalk restaurant, see the Eiffel Tower and shop, shop, shop on a holiday tour to Paris. The deal: The four-night Christmas-shopping package, available during November, starts at $978 (airport taxes add $130 more), double occupancy. Included are round-trip airfare from LAX, four nights' accommodations in central Paris, daily breakfast, discount coupons and a Paris map. Reservations: For information, contact Adventure Vacations at (800) 600-5587 or (858)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 1994
It's an American ritual as old as the public school system, the annual fall trek to buy new clothes, pencils and paper before the start of the new school year. Members of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Northridge-Chatsworth Rotary Club maintain that new supplies are more than just a luxury: They can also be a part of building a child's self-esteem. And too many Los Angeles children have never known the excitement of the back-to-school shopping trip, they say.
NEWS
February 27, 1994 | BILL HIGGINS
By 1:30 a.m. the number of customers at the only 24-hour Good Guys store has dropped off dramatically. There's a ledge of time only hard-core retail vampires choose to leap. One moment there are dozens of shoppers, the next only six or seven wandering past the "toys and distractions," as one salesman calls the TVs, cameras, phones, computers, boomboxes and stereos. "After 1 a.m.
NEWS
December 3, 1987 | MARJORIE MARKS, Marks is a Los Angeles free-lance writer.
December is the time for shopping and giving--a time when the spirit of giving is often stretched a bit, causing a strain on the budget after the first of the year. For some shoppers, that's OK. Certainly the desire to award family and friends with pricey presents is an honorable trait, but when the well-meaning shopping spree ends in bills that can't be paid or cash flow that stops flowing, it can be a disaster. Indeed, overspending is now being looked upon as an addiction.
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