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Retail roundup: Retail sales, J. Crew goes private, prestige beauty industry, Loehmann's exits bankruptcy, South Bay Galleria spring event

March 4, 2011 |  6:00 am

-- Retail sales rose 4.2% in February, better than the 3.6% that analysts had expected, according to Thomson Reuters’ tally of 25 major chains.

-- Shareholders of preppy apparel seller J. Crew Group Inc. have approved a $3-billion deal to be taken private by two investment firms.

-- The U.S. prestige beauty industry saw sales rise 4% last year, to $8.4 billion, according to market research firm NPD Group. All categories saw sales rise, the group said, with makeup up 3%, skincare up 8% and fragrance up 1%. In 2009, year-over-year prestige beauty sales fell 6% as shoppers cut back on discretionary items.

-- Loehmann’s announced that it had completed its restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The off-price retailer also announced that Chief Executive Jerald Politzer was leaving the company. Joe Melvin, the company’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, will assume the role of interim CEO.

-- South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach is hosting a “Spring Into Spring” event on Saturday that will offer fashion vignettes that feature the season’s “must-have” items. Fashion vignettes will take place in front of participating stores, and models will rotate every 15 minutes as stylists and fashion bloggers discuss the outfit with guests. Shoppers can then text their favorite look, store or fashion blogger and be eligible for a $250 mall gift card. Participating stores include Gap, Forever 21, Limited and Cache. The event begins at 1 p.m.

-- Andrea Chang