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Retail Roundup: 40,100 retail jobs cut in September, Dillard's sued

Thousands of jobs cut in suffering retail sector -- Roughly 40,100 retail employees lost their jobs in September as stores across the nation were forced to downsize or close their doors thanks to decreased consumer spending. The loss marks the 10th consecutive month of retail-job cuts, as the nation's unemployment rate remains frozen at 6.1 percent. [Source: Forbes]

Dillard's becomes embroiled in another lawsuit -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the department store chain, claiming Dillard's discriminates against employees by requiring that they provide confidential medical information to qualify for sick leave. The suit centers on two former employees from the chain's El Centro location, but a prosecuting attorney said the nationwide policy potentially affected thousands. Dillard's is already facing another lawsuit from fellow department store J.C. Penney based on allegations that an uncontrolled sprinkler at a Dillard's in Florida damaged the neighboring J.C. Penney. [Source: The Mercury News]

Forever 21 aims to buy Mervyn's -- Fashion retailer Forever 21 is looking to capitalize on a down economy by purchasing 150 of Mervyn's 176 stores (the remaining 26 stores are slated to close). While Mervyn's recently filed for bankruptcy, the thriving Forever 21 franchise is looking to expand; the apparel retailer was the first bidder in Mervyn's bankruptcy proceeding. [Source: California Apparel News]

Video clips act as online salesman at Justin Charles -- As more consumers opt to surf the Web than scour local malls for their duds, high-end retailer Justin Charles Outdoor Gear found a way to combine the two experiences. Each product in the outerwear section of justincharles.com now features a video in which Marketing Director Joe Campisi himself explains the subtle features and advantages of the garments. "People like to touch products, turn the sleeves inside out. But that's difficult to do when you're looking at a flat screen," said Director of Operations Dennis Treu, adding that the company is aiming to create an in-store experience with video clips. [Source: Internetretailer]

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