retail

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Retail spending is in a free fall — nosediving a record 8.7% last month — as more companies continue to furlough workers and stores, malls and restaurants remain shuttered across the country during the coronavirus pandemic.

The March drop was the largest monthly fall since the Commerce Department began tracking retail sales three decades ago. The previous record was a 3.9% drop in November 2008, during the Great Recession.

Sign in the window of the Hobby Lobby at Polaris.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Hobby Lobby reclosed all of its Ohio stores Wednesday night after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the Ohio Attorney General.

Citing the coronavirus pandemic's "heavy toll" on its business, Macy's said it's furloughing the majority of its nearly 130,000 employees. Workers will continue to receive health benefits through May.

"Across Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Bluemercury [beauty] brands, we will be moving to the absolute minimum workforce needed to maintain basic operations," the retailer said Monday.

Leslie Wexner receives the Woodrow Wilson Award in July 2008.
Union20 / Wikimedia Commons

Thursday brought an end of an era in the fashion world and in Central Ohio.

Columbus-based retailer L Brands announced that CEO Les Wexner is retiring and the company is selling off lingerie company Victoria’s Secret.

Forever 21, the fast-fashion mall standby that filed for bankruptcy last year, will live on. Three companies announced Wednesday that they are jointly acquiring the retailer aimed at young shoppers and that they plan to continue to operate its U.S. and international stores.

The buyers are Authentic Brands Group, which owns major brands such as Barneys New York, Aeropostale and Nine West; and real estate companies Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners.

Les Wexner
Jay LaPrete / AP

Columbus-based L Brands announced Thursday that longtime CEO Les Wexner is stepping down from his position, while the company sells off a majority stake in lingerie brand Victoria's Secret to a private equity firm.

Independent bookstores aren’t just back, they’re thriving. As other small retailers struggle to compete with big box stores and online shoppers, how do indie booksellers continue to attract and maintain a loyal base of customers?

Macy's Closing Downtown Headquarters

Feb 4, 2020

Macy's, one of nine Fortune 500 companies based in Cincinnati, will shutter its corporate headquarters in Downtown later this year, WVXU has confirmed. 

An Express store at Fiarview Mall in Toronto, Canada.
Raysonho / Wikimedia Commons

Columbus-based Express, Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to close 100 stores around the country, although none of the closures are expected here in Central Ohio.

Akron’s Chapel Hill Mall came perilously close to closing its doors Friday over a delinquent water and sewer bill. 

The city says its Office of Integrated Development gave the mall’s owner, New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group, until 9:30 Friday morning to make a payment or face closure.

Adora Namigadde

Eastland Mall is making changes that administrators hope will usher in a new life within the next year.

Author Adam Minter remembers two periods of grief after his mother died in 2015: the intense sadness of her death, followed by the challenge of sorting through what he calls "the material legacy of her life."

Over the course of a year, Minter and his sister worked through their mother's possessions until only her beloved china was left. Neither one of them wanted to take the china — but neither could bear to throw it out. Instead, they decided to donate it.

Columbus' Easton Town Center is fully decorated for the holiday season.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Over 7,000 retailers in Ohio are expecting a slight increase in sales this holiday season over last year, though where those spending increases are projected may be a surprise.

Model Gigi Hadid walks the runway during the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in New York.
Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press

Lingerie models for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show won't be walking down the runway this holiday season.

Michael Kilgore / Flickr

The last seven Kmarts in Ohio are finally closing, which experts say should serve as a sign to other retailers about what they need to do to stay competitive.

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