Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Why Carl’s Jr is happier in L.A.

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carlshappyHere’s another reason to love L.A.

The city’s downtown business district is home to the only Carl’s Jr restaurants that serve beer.

“We market to the young, hungry male. He’s also thirsty,” said Julie McLean, a spokeswoman for the chain, which has used controversial celebrities like Paris Hilton to push its generously-portioned, indulgent hamburgers.

Jennifer McGrath, the marketing manager whose region includes the three beer-serving L.A. restaurants, said happy hour specials have boosted business at those restaurants.

The company said the restaurants inherited their liquor licenses from previous tenants and that the chain has no plans to add beer at its other outlets.

Check Out Line: Betting on Borders

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lebowCheck out who’s making a bet on Borders, the struggling bookseller.

Financier Bennett LeBow, chairman of tobacco holding company Vector Group Ltd, is buying 11.1 million Borders shares  through a company he controls — making him Borders’ single largest shareholder.

Borders CEO Mike Edwards praised LeBow’s turnaround prowess- fair enough. If you can help tabacco companies, you can probably help any ailing company.

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