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Retail Roundup: Toys R Us, American Apparel, Sears and Costco, retail sales

September 3, 2011 |  6:02 am

 -- Toys R Us, which last year opened 600 temporary shops during the holidays, will reduce the number of pop-up stores this holiday season, according to Reuters. The nation's largest toy retailer, which hopes to go public next year, did not announce how many pop-ups it would open. 

-- Los Angeles-based American Apparel is in talks to raise as much as $160 million from several investors, including a private equity firm connected to Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle, according to Bloomberg, which cited several unnamed sources. The restructuring talks include the possibility that American Apparel's founder and chief executive, Dov Charney, could step down as chairman of the board so he could focus on day-to-day operations. 

The parties include private equity firms Colbeck Capital Management, which is affiliated with Burkle's Yucaipa Cos., and Authentic Brands Group, which is backed by L.A.-based Leonard Green & Partners.

-- Department store chain Sears has agreed to sell its exclusive line of Craftsman tools at Costco warehouse clubs. The power tools and other products will start appearing on Costco shelves as early as this weekend and are scheduled to roll out at all Costco locations this year, the Chicago Tribune says. Sears is hoping that the deal will attract customers who shop at Costco but not at Sears or Kmart, where the tools are also carried. 

Speaking of Costco, this week its chief executive and co-founder, Jim Sinegal, announced that he would be stepping down from the top post on Jan. 1. He will remain with the company until January 2013 to help replacement Craig Jelinek, currently Costco's president and chief operating officer, with the transition; Sinegal will also remain on the board of directors.

-- Major chain stores reported that sales rose a healthy 4.4% year over year in August despite stock market turmoil and Hurricane Irene. Discounters and luxury chains were among the best performers.

-- Andrea Chang