Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Black Friday: First Blood Part II


hamstersWe were wondering earlier today how much longer it would take until customers shopping for Black Friday deals got rowdy. We told you about one shoving match in Centennial, Colorado, that involved dropping a little old lady. Now we have a “disturbance” at a Walmart store in Upland, California, near Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California’s Inland Empire. What motivates some of these attacks? Toy hamsters! (See our earlier entry on this phenomenon. Also, look toward the bottom of this blog entry.)

The San Bernardino Sun reported details:

“Upland police officers received reports of the disturbance about 2:45 a.m. Friday and sent about four officers to the store at 1540 W. Foothill Boulevard, Lt. Jim Etchason said. ‘A manager at the store called it in to the police department,’ Etchason said. ‘(The manager) said numerous customers were causing a disturbance with each other.’”

The cops told managers to close the store while they cleared out shoppers and made them wait in the parking lot. A few hours later, they were allowed to go back inside, the Sun reported. There were no reports of injuries or damage, the paper said on its website.

A company spokesman confirmed the incident, but said the store was cleared out and closed for 45 minutes.

Carl’s Jr CEO sees gold in Lone Star state


texas1Andy Puzder, chief executive of Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s parent CKE Restaurants, is not a man to mince words and on Thursday he shared his views on “socialist type” state governments in California and Oregon. 
Many of the company’s Carl’s Jr restaurants are located in the Golden State, and Puzder has plans to lessen that exposure over time. 

“As such, we’re targeting a large percentage of our growth in Texas. It is deemed to be more business friendly,” Puzder told analysts on a conference call. 
“Oregon has a higher minimum wage and a similar regulatory structure as California and also has a similar socialist type government at the state level so business there actually can be as bad or worse than California,” he said. 
“Texas is doing really well,” he added.

Levi’s heart — and 501s — still in San Francisco


sf-ls-buildingIt was in San Francisco where Bavaria-born Levi Strauss first stitched and sold his now-iconic riveted blue jeans and it is San Francisco where the 156-year-old company will stay.

At least for the next ten years.

The San Francisco-based company said it will remain in the City by the Bay through 2019, ending speculation that the global apparel brand would move its headquarters to an outlying, lower-rent area.

Chick-fil-A eyes California growth


chickfila_spicysand_medium1Privately held Chick-fil-A has plans to open 50 new free-standing restaurants in California within the next five years — a move that would more than double its presence in the nation’s most populous state.

While most of the company’s 35 California restaurants now are located in suburbs or smaller cities, many of the new outlets are planned for Los Angeles and San Diego.

from Environment Forum:

Paper or plastic? Oh, and 25 cents please!

California, always seeking to be a trendsetter on environmental policy, is weighing a proposal to charge 25 cents for every paper or plastic bag distributed at grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores. The money raised would go into a state fund used to clean up trash and prevent litter related to what the bill calls "single-use" bags.

The bill's sponsor, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, says 25 cents a bag is high enough to have a real impact on consumer behavior. The fee would be waived for some low-income Californians.

Guess who wants to be Governor?


georgespictures-0132California has had its share of entertainers as politicians — Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even Sonny Bono. But the state could use a little fashion sense (or at least that’s what New Yorkers say).    

Now Guess Inc co-founder Georges Marciano is making a bid for California governor. Running as an independent, Marciano joins a high-profile list of candidates including former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Picture the economy: L.A.


A picture is worth a thousand words — and some Californians have a lot to say about the worst financial crisis in decades.












greenspan5The economic meltdown was the focus of Crossman Wilkins’ (above) master’s thesis at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Shuttering Starbucks


starbuckscorona1Reuters checked out some of the stores that Starbucks is closing in California’s Inland Empire – an area well known for being a leader in home foreclosures.

Some of the coffee shop closures made sense, some didn’t and some had us wondering just what Starbucks was thinking.

The Do-It-Yourself Lift


ECONOMY/UNEMPLOYMENTThe recession is leading many consumers to sharpen their do-it-yourself skills, opting to work on their cars and homes themselves rather than hire professionals.

Home Depot said it is gearing up for spring with a wide assortment of lawn equipment and fertilizer products, looking to cash in should consumers cancel their contracts with professional landscaping companies.

Lawsuit against Starbucks goes up in smoke


STARBUCKS/Uh, dude, you forgot something.

That was essentially the message from a California appeals court to a group of unsuccessful Starbucks applicants who sued the Seattle-based coffee chain over its job application, which they claimed asked an illegal question about marijuana convictions.

California law bars employers from asking job applicants to disclose marijuana convictions that are more than two years old, and Starbucks’ application asks for seven years’ worth of criminal history.