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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.
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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
July 22, 2010 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
A fraction of a penny is amounting to one big headache for 99 Cents Only Stores. Two years ago, the City of Commerce retailer — faced with rising inflation and higher costs — raised the top price of its goods to 99.99 cents from 99 cents. Company executives thought it was a clever way to increase sales while staying loyal to the chain's love for the number 99. But the move seems to be riling some customers who say they weren't aware of the nearly one-cent increase and felt duped into believing they were still paying 99 cents "only."
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 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
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.
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.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Barnes & Noble will shut up to a third of its brick-and-mortar bookstores over the next decade as reading habits change and digital publications evolve, according to a new report. The chain will end up with 450 to 500 stores in 10 years, down from the 689 physical stores it has now, according to Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of Barnes & Noble's retail group. That evens out to about 20 stores shuttered yearly over the period, Klipper said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
J.C. Penney Co. is attempting to right-size itself by closing 33 under-performing stores around the country and eliminating 2,000 positions, the retailer said Wednesday. The Plano, Texas, company said it hopes the effort will save $65 million a year beginning this year. Units getting the ax will finish shutting down in early May. The only store closing in California is at Arrow Plaza in Rancho Cucamonga. Chief Executive Myron Ullman said the cuts were necessary as part of J.C. Penney's “progress toward long-term profitable growth.” The company operates roughly 1,100 stores nationwide.
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