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Retail roundup: Wal-Mart's 'Pick Up Today' program, March retail sales, Tim Gunn at Fashion Island

April 16, 2011 |  6:00 am

-- Wal-Mart has officially rolled out its “Pick Up Today” program in all Los Angeles area and Orange County stores.

Through the service, shoppers can browse the inventory of their local Wal-Mart store, purchase items online and get free same-day pickup at the store.

“Pick Up Today” includes thousands of items across categories such as toys, home décor, hardware, electronics, household appliances and video games. By the end of June, the service will be available in about 3,600 stores nationwide.

-- Retail sales rose 0.4% in March from February, the ninth straight month of increases, the Commerce Department said. The increase was boosted by sales of gasoline. Compared with March 2010, retail sales rose 7.1%.

“Improving financial situations including the temporary payroll tax cut, wage gains and a strengthening labor market likely supported March spending gains,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation. “If gasoline prices can stabilize over the next few months, consumer spending may continue to grow, but it remains to be seen what consumers will cut out of their budgets because of the cost of filling up their tank.”

-- Project Runway co-host Tim Gunn will be hosting a spring fashion show at Fashion Island on Saturday. The show will feature the latest collections from Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans and Kate Spade in the Neiman Marcus-Bloomingdale’s Courtyard at 1 p.m.

The style expert will share fashion tips and discuss “the important of style, proportion and fit,” the Newport Beach shopping center said in a release. Shoppers who spent $150 or more at Juicy Couture, Lucky or Kate Spade this week will be photographed at the event with Gunn.

-- Andrea Chang