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NEWS
October 11, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
Forget summer, forget fall. In L.A.'s home furnishings marketplace, the name of the season is change. As consumers fluff homes for the holidays, the rush of new stores and expansions is enough to daunt even the most devoted shopper. A sampling of the comings and goings: Bobby Berk Home: The company that describes itself as “California chic” opened its first store here last week after establishing its brand in New York, Atlanta and Miami. Berk, 31, said his space in the Helms Bakery complex is something of a test site for his just-released line of contemporary sofas, chairs, dressers and tables, all made in downtown L.A. Other names familiar to fans of modern design - Bend, Loll, Fermob - fill out the shop.
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WORLD
December 23, 2012 | By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Firefighters battled through the night to contain a raging fire that swept through a market in the Afghan capital. No injuries were reported, but the blaze destroyed hundreds of stores and millions of dollars worth of merchandise, Afghan police and firefighters said at the scene.  Dealers at the neighboring currency exchange, the city's largest, said they evacuated cash, computer equipment and records from their shops as...
BUSINESS
May 6, 2011 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles apparel chain Metropark USA Inc. has filed for bankruptcy and is shutting all 69 stores, including 18 in California. Metropark, a specialty retailer that has catered to the 25- to 35-year-old market, is known for offering a shopping experience that was part store, part club. Despite a rapid expansion, the company has struggled to become popular among young adult shoppers and sales fell sharply during the economic downturn. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
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.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Smoked salmon sold at Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores nationwide is being recalled in 42 states, including California, and Puerto Rico amid listeria concerns. The fish was produced by a Miami subsidiary of Multiexport Foods Inc. in conjunction with Tampa Bay Fisheries Inc. The companies are pulling the product “with an overabundance of caution,” according to a Wal-Mart statement . The listeria monocytogenes bacteria - which can cause fatal infections in the elderly, the young and those with weak immune systems, and lead to fever, nausea and diarrhea in other victims - was discovered during a standard lab test on a shipment of the salmon that hadn't been distributed to stores, according to Wal-Mart.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2012 | By Shan Li
British supermarket giant Tesco may soon be bidding bon voyage to its American problem child. Five years after the company landed in California and opened 200 stores across the West, Tesco said it is preparing to sell its struggling Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market chain and retreat from the U.S. market altogether. "It's likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end," Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke during a Wednesday conference call from Los Angeles.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Sometimes smaller is better. That's the philosophy of Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp., which owns 415 sporting-goods stores in 12 states, about half of them in California. The El Segundo company believes that operating a large number of easily accessible, smaller stores is more profitable than offering fewer big ones. The average size of its stores is 11,000 square feet, less than a quarter the size of its big-box competitors. "It allows us to be more convenient in metropolitan markets," said Steven G. Miller, Big 5's chief executive and son of co-founder Robert W. Miller.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
If you thought crazy store hours were strictly a Black Friday phenomenon, get ready for next week. With little more than a week left before Christmas, retailers are making their final push to entice last-minute shoppers. The last 10 days of the season traditionally bring out huge crowds — retailers see about one-third of their holiday sales during the period — and this year is no exception. Toys R Us announced that it would remain open for 88 hours in a row starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday and continuing until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It's the first time that all Toys R Us stores nationwide will stay open around the clock during the final countdown to Christmas.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Best Buy's sprawling blue big-box stores will start disappearing this year, replaced by more compact shops and mobile-only stores as the country's largest consumer electronics retailer tries to reclaim revenue from rivals such as Amazon. The company will shut down 50 of its large-model stores this year while testing new branches that are 20% smaller in San Antonio, Texas, St. Paul, Minn. and Best Buy's Minneapolis hometown. The downsizing has been in the works for months . The electronics giant also wants to cut $800 million out of its costs by 2015, including $250 million within the next fiscal year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2012 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Beleaguered Best Buy will close three stores in Southern California as part of a previously announced plan to shut 50 locations by the end of the year. The three stores are at 10861 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood; 4120 E. 4th St. in Ontario; and 2857 Park Ave. in Tustin. Eight of the 50 stores already had been tapped for closure. Of the 42 locations announced Saturday, Best Buy said most would be shut by May 12; three additional locations will close by late summer. "This was not an easy decision to make," the company said in a statement.
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