Retail roundup: Black Friday, Groupon, iPad, Gap and more
-- Ready or not, the biggest shopping day of the year is almost upon us. Millions of Americans plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, about 60 million people say they will definitely hit the stores while another 78 million are waiting to see if the bargains are worth braving the crowds.
-- Daily deals website Groupon has announced a holiday program that it's dubbed "Grouponicus," which was described to me as a mash-up of "Groupon + Hanukkah + Christmas." Between Nov. 22 and Dec. 24 in 20 cities including L.A., the site will offer giftable holiday deals that will be available for three to five days instead of the usual 24 hours. Speaking of Groupon, the Chicago company is said to considering selling itself, perhaps to Google.
-- For an Apple iPad, head over to ... TJ Maxx? Turns out the rumors are true. My colleage Nathan Olivarez-Giles has the details on the tablet hitting discount shelves.
-- Continuing its global expansion, Gap Inc. announced a franchise agreement to introduce Gap brand in South America. The first Gap store is expected to open in Santiago, Chile, in the Parque Arauco mall in September 2011. Gap also opened its first flagship store in Italy this week.
-- Since buying the rights to the FAO Schwarz brand last year, Toys R Us has been trying to revitalize the storied toy brand. This week, the company announced that it has launched a line of FAO Schwarz baby items. This line is available at FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue in New York City, Babies R Us stores around the country and more than 30 R Superstores nationwide.
-- Gift cards will be the No. 1 most-requested holiday gift for the fourth year in a row, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Americans are expected to spend an average of $145.61 on gift cards, up from $139.91 last year, the survey found. Total gift card spending is expected to reach $24.78 billion.
-- Andrea Chang