Retail roundup: gift receipts, Kardashians at the Beverly Center, TJX layoffs, Neiman Marcus, Best Buy
-- Six out of 10 (60.7%) shoppers say they provide a gift receipt most or some of the time when giving a gift, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
Gift receipts -- which offer recipients the opportunity to exchange a gift without revealing what the buyer paid for it -- are increasing in popularity, with 58.5% of shoppers providing them in 2009, up from 56.9% in 2008.
Still, it appears that most of the receipts won't be used: The NRF said that 66.3% of holiday shoppers say they didn't return a single gift last holiday season. The retail trade group polled 8,778 consumers Nov. 3-9.
-- Fans lined up as early as 10 a.m. to meet Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, who were signing autographs at the Bebe store Wednesday evening at the Beverly Center. The sisters were on hand to tout their latest holiday collection for the retailer (Kim was in New York and did not attend). Khloe said the collection was "a little glam" and was inspired by holiday parties and wintery colors.
-- TJX Cos., parent of the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls brands, announced that it would lay off 4,400 employees in the U.S. as part of a plan to consolidate its A.J. Wright division. Almost half of the eliminated jobs will be part-time positions, the company said. Affected employees will have the opportunity to be compensated at least through the holiday season, and most will remain employed through late January.
The off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions said the consolidation would involve converting 91 A.J. Wright stores into T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods stores. The company said it would close the remaining 71 stores, A.J. Wright’s two distribution centers and its home office.
-- On the other end of the retail spectrum, Neiman Marcus reported robust first-quarter earnings this week. The luxury chain said its profit more than tripled over the same quarter last year, to $25.7 million, and comparable revenue was up 6.4%.
-- Electronics company Best Buy Co. is peeved at Leather Expo Inc. and is suing the mattress and furniture company for alleged trademark infringement, trademark dilution and "other unlawful acts." Best Buy contends that Leather Expo Inc. has been doing business under the names "Best Buy Furniture," "Best Buy Mattress" and "Best Buy Mattress & Furniture."
-- Andrea Chang
Photo: Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian at the Beverly Center's Bebe store. Credit: Albert Ferreira