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Retail Roundup: Big Lots Goes Online, Mervyns Founder Talks, and More

Big Lots unveils e-commerce site -- With the launch of a new e-commerce site, Big Lots Inc. has officially brought its "treasure-hunt atmosphere" to the Web. The site is tailored to attract the same bargain hunters who are loyal to the chain, and central to the new channel is a deal of the day that will be posted at 8 a.m. "We are excited about the start of our e-commerce business today and the opportunity to bring closeout shopping to the Internet in a Big Lots way," said CEO Steve Fishman. [Source: internetretailer]

Mervyns founder talks about fall -- In the aftermath of Mervyns' demise, the chain's founder, Merv Morris, openly reflected on the rocky path that eventually led to closure. "Economic times changed and, frankly, Mervyns didn't change," he said in a telephone interview with The Weekly. He also said the chain began seeing significant and complex problems many years ago. [Source: Palo Alto Online]

Slight boost in sales could be good sign -- It's not yet Thanksgiving, but retailers may finally have something to be thankful for. Retail sales rose by 1.1 percent for the week ending Oct. 18 compared with the same period last year, according to ShopperTrak RCT's newest report. Several factors, including big discounts, cooling temperatures, and declining gas prices, likely contributed to the boost, said Vice President of Sales Bill Martin. [Source: Heard on the Runway]

e-Bay bans ivory sales --- After coming under fire from animal-welfare agencies, eBay took an elephant-sized step by banning the sale of ivory on its Web site worldwide beginning Jan. 1. eBay is responsible for 63 percent of the trade in endangered species, while elephant ivory composes 73 percent of all endangered-animal products tracked, according to a new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. [Source: L.A. Times' All the Rage]

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