Retail Roundup: Athleta stores, Citadel Outlets job fair, Learning Express

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-- Athleta, Gap Inc.'s activewear brand, will open its first store in Southern California on Wednesday. The store, at Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach, is the fourth Athleta store opening this year.

The brand, until recently only available online and through its catalog, is slowly breaking into the bricks-and-mortar space. Athleta currently operates two stores in the Bay Area and two in New York, with additional openings slated to open this fall in Los Angeles (at the Grove), Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis. The company plans to open 50 Athleta stores in the U.S. by 2013.

-- Mark your calendars: Citadel Outlets and the City of Commerce Employment & Business Development Center will host an annual job fair at the shopping center Wednesday, Sept. 21. The job fair, in its third year, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Employers including Puma, Penske Motor Group, Guess by Marciano, Pacific College and Clearpoint Financial Solutions will be on interview to meet job candidates, who should ‘dress for success’ and bring resumes.


A one-hour mini job prep workshop will be held at 9 a.m. Last year more than 5,000 job seekers met with potential employers; this year the City of Commerce mall says it expects 8,000 attendees.

-- Animal rights group is asking Learning Express stores to stop selling live frogs as toys, citing animal welfare and health concerns. The organization, which has circulated 1,000 petition signatures, says the educational toy retailer is selling live African dwarf frogs in 4-square-inch plastic cubes called ‘EcoAquariums.’ Other retailers, including Target, Brookstone and toy store chains, have stopped selling the animals.

-- Andrea Chang