The fallout from the lessthan-stellar holiday retail season has begun. Besides the stores we already knew were slated to close — Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticate, Robinson’s-May stores — are those that are hurting but not yet mortally wounded.
Toys R Us, which was rescued from bankruptcy in mid-2005 by private investors, said this week that it will close 87 of its 674 stores nationwide in the next few months, converting 12 locations into Babies R Us stores.
Also hoping to shore up dismal fourth-quarter performance, OfficeMax said it will close 110 U.S. stores during the first quarter.
Neither company would pinpoint to-be-shuttered locations, so we don’t know yet if East Valley locations will survive the purge.
While holiday shoppers disappointed many regular retailers, they boosted online sales by as much as 30 percent, according to analysts’ estimates.
Not to be left in the technology dust, the Scottsdale-based Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has launched an online store at www.franklloyd
Fans of the late architect and his unique style can buy clothing, books, jewelry, gift items and decorative home accessories from the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection of authorized licensed products without leaving home.
A Chandler version of Garlic Jim’s Famous Gourmet Pizza, gourmet pizza produced at fast-food speed, plans to open Tuesday at 1445 S. Arizona Ave. in the Sam’s Club shopping center.
Check out how "real people" shoppers nationwide rated your favorite stores for customer service.
"Real People Ratings Best of 2005" was compiled by Corporate Research International, a market research firm specializing in mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys. The company polled its pool of mystery shoppers in May, August and December about their customer service experiences. Here are their top picks.
• Fast-food restaurants: 1. Subway, 2. Quizno’s, 3. Sonic.
• Full-service restaurants: 1. Olive Garden, 2. Texas Roadhouse, 3. Cracker Barrel.
• Convenience stores: 1. BP, 2. Chevron/Texaco, 3. Shell.
• Department stores: 1. Nordstrom, 2. Saks Fifth Avenue, 3. Bloomingdale’s.
• Shoe Stores: 1. Stride Rite, 2. Journeys, 3. Shoe Carnival.
• Home Improvement/ Hardware: 1. Ace Hardware, 2. True Value, 3. Lowe’s.
• Athletic Apparel: 1. Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2. Foot Locker, 3. Finish Line.
• Electronics: 1. Best Buy, 2. Radio Shack, 3. Circuit City.