Retail Roundup: E-readers, Wal-Mart Express, American Apparel on EBay
-- Starting Sunday, Toys R Us will begin to sell Amazon's Kindle e-readers and accessories. To celebrate the launch of the product, customers purchasing any Kindle will receive a free $10 Toys R Us gift card from July 31 through Aug. 6. The chain will carry models including the Kindle Wi-Fi in graphite and Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi in graphite.
OfficeMax, too, is embracing the e-reader trend, announcing that it will begin to offer Barnes & Noble's Nook on Saturday. The retailer said it would sell the all-new Nook and the Nook color reader's tablet.
-- Wal-Mart, which is trying to reverse a two-year U.S. sales slump, opened its first Express smaller-format store in Chicago this week. The world's largest retailer will test out the locations in three markets this year: Chicago, Richfield, N.C., and Arkansas, where Wal-Mart is based. Other major chains including Target are scaling down their stores as well.
-- American Apparel said it has partnered with EBay to create the first full online lifestyle shop on the auction site. The Los Angeles retailer said it made the move because of "extensive demand" on EBay for its fashions. Dov Charney, CEO of American Apparel, said there are more than 30,000 searches for American Apparel on EBay each month.
The store will launch in September and will offer a full assortment of products chosen by American Apparel including hoodies, T-shirts, underwear, jeans and children's clothing. Orders placed through the EBay site will be fulfilled by American Apparel's L.A. factory.
-- Andrea Chang