Retail roundup: Target, Fisher-Price recalls, Barnes & Noble, Kmart and more
TargetCorp. will open 10 stores around the country on Oct. 10, five of them in California, including locations in Simi Valley, Bakersfield and Azusa. The 10 stores will create more than 2,400 jobs and feature the discount chain’s expanded food section.
Fisher-Price recalled more than 11 million children’s products, the largest toy recall of the year. Recalled items included tricycles, toy cars and play sets featuring inflatable balls.
Barnes & NobleInc.’s prolonged proxy fight ended at the company’s annual meeting in New York, where it was announced that Los Angeles billionaire investor Ronald Burkle lost his bid to unseat the chairman of the book giantin a shareholder vote, delivering a big victory to the company's leadership. Burkle said in a statement that although he was pleased that the proxy fight had brought about some changes at Barnes & Noble, there was "a great deal still to do" and that his investment firm would continue to press for improvements at the company.
Kmart, which heavily promoted its layaway options during the last two holiday seasons, is expanding the program in anticipation of another tough Christmas. The extended layaway program allows customers to select their items and make biweekly payments over 10 to 12 weeks, an increase from eight weeks; items are picked up after they've been paid in full. The discount chain is also making more items eligible to be placed on layaway, such as washers, dryers and other big-ticket items.
Traditional costumes will be popular for Halloween this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. The group said that the top three adult costumes will be a witch, vampire and pirate, while the top three children’s costumes will be a princess, Spider-Man and witch. The top pet costume? A pumpkin.
With plans to operate 600 temporary toy shops for the holidays, Toys R Us Inc. said that it would bulk up its workforce by hiring about 45,000 seasonal workers nationwide, more than it has hired during each of the last three Christmas seasons.
-- Andrea Chang