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‘Simon Fashion Now’ rolls out interactive fashion events across the U.S.

BY CSA STAFF

This fall, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group will bring high-energy runway shows and events to shoppers across the nation with “Simon Fashion Now,” a series of free events held at select Simon shopping centers.

Earlier in September, Simon Fashion Now kicked off in Houston – at The Galleria – and the tour will continue at Simon properties in Boca Raton, Fla. (Town Center at Boca Raton); Burlington, Mass. (Burlington Mall); Garden City, N.Y. (Roosevelt Field); and Charlotte, N.C. (SouthPark).

"Our consumers seek immediate access and we can provide the NOW factor to them through Simon Fashion Now," said Shari Simon, senior VP corporate marketing. "We interpret the season’s trends and create hundreds of great looks on the runway that are available for purchase that same day."

While participating retailers vary in each Simon Fashion Now market, shoppers can expect to see an abundance of styles for men and women ranging from casual weekend wear and stylish outfits for the office to show-stopping looks for a night on the town. In addition, shoppers can visit Style Shops, where advice and insight into the season’s trends will be offered in an interactive format.

"The Simon Fashion Now tour allows our malls to become the source for the season’s most accessible trends providing a realistic runway experience for a variety of shoppers," said Jacque Ellis, assistant VP corporate special events at Simon. "At each event, we extend the fashion beyond the runway and offer a stylish twist on a night out through our Trends & Friends Night. Guests can connect with our retailers through interactive stations while enjoying an evening of fashion, cocktails, and exclusive deals."

Simon Fashion Now fans are invited to visit simon.com or each participating mall’s Facebook fan page for the latest event updates, style news, contests, photos and information for each stop.

Simon Fashion Now tour models are provided by Page Parks Agency, including Alyssa Pasek who appears on this season of Bravo TV’s hit show Project Runway.

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Toys”R”Us boosts hiring ahead of holiday season

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. — Toys"R"Us announced that it plans to hire more than 40,000 employees to staff its U.S. stores and distribution centers this holiday season, as the company anticipates another busy Christmas across all of its shopping channels. This number is in line with previous years, when the company hired between 35,000 and 45,000 seasonal workers. Throughout the coming months, the company said it will continue to assess its staffing needs and add more employees, as necessary.

"At Toys"R"Us, one of the ways we differentiate ourselves is by employing a toy-trained work force who can provide gift-givers sound toy-buying recommendations, and our seasonal staff is an important extension of our team," said Dan Caspersen, EVP human resources at Toys"R"Us Inc. "We are proud to create tens of thousands of jobs across the country this Christmas, while providing the potential for hardworking individuals to find a permanent position with us."

Hiring for positions at Toys"R"Us begins this week and continues through November. The majority of employees will be hired to staff Toys"R"Us stores across the country, where they will become knowledgeable, toy-trained associates, assisting gift-givers in delivering Christmas magic. Traffic in Toys"R"Us stores peaks in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and the company’s expanded holiday work force plays an integral part in providing an enjoyable in-store experience for shoppers during this time.

In addition, employment opportunities will be available at the company’s 10 distribution centers, including the newest facility in McCarran, Nevada, which supports its growing e-commerce business.

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NRF welcomes Visa reform to encourage foreigner spending at U.S. stores

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation said it welcomed legislation that would require the State Department to speed up the visa application process for citizens from three key countries, saying the move would make it easier for tourists and business travelers to spend money in U.S. stores.

“U.S. retailers and other businesses are missing out on billions of dollars in sales every year because foreigners who want to come here and spend money in our stores are being told to stand in line at our embassies overseas,” NRF SVP government relations David French said. “We are asking that the State Department be required to provide adequate personnel, technology and other resources so these applications can be processed in a timely manner. We want to see these yuan, rupees and reals put to work creating jobs and boosting the economy in the United States, not spent elsewhere because it’s too hard to get a U.S. visa. Congress needs to move as quickly as possible to see this legislation signed into law.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is meeting this afternoon to consider a State Department funding bill that would require the department to hire sufficient staff in China, Brazil and India in order to allow visa applications to be processed in no more than 30 days. It can currently take as long as 120 days in China and 145 days in Brazil for applicants to receive an interview for a visa.

The bill also requires the State Department to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of waiving the visa interview requirement for people who are renewing a visa that has expired within the past two years. It would also give the State Department discretion to establish a pilot program to use videoconferencing rather than requiring that the interviews take place in person, and the department would be required to submit a report to Congress on its efforts to speed up the process.

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