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SAG-ing Economy: Retail Braces Itself for Potential Strike

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Especially after a three-month Writers Guild of America strike, the city is dreading a looming Screen Actors Guild strike. In a lengthy article today, WWD reports: "SAG's contract expires June 30 and a walkout by the union's 120,000 members would be particularly damaging in a state where the unemployment rate is at its highest level in about five years, gas and food prices are rising, home values have imploded and the state budget deficit is estimated at $15 billion."

The pub spoke to a number of local retailers, clearly bracing themselves for a potential SAG strike. After the jump are highlights, or rather, lowlights:

· Designer Nanette Lepore, who has a boutique on Robertson and Melrose is holding off on a remodel of the Robertson boutique and said "she suffered during the writers' walkout...We do so much work with the studios, for wardrobe and the like, [and] have a whole lot of stylists who do movies coming in, so without them, things change a lot. This is big."

· Kitson owner Fraser Ross "said a SAG strike, while not as perilously timed as the writers' walkout that coincided with awards season, would impact business for months."

· Hillary Rush who has an eponymous boutique on West 3rd Street reports "steady customers who bought novelty items have reconsidered their purchases and exchanged the trendier apparel for jeans or other basic items. She is reducing her orders and has been told by vendors that many of their customers are canceling apparel orders." And that's coming off an already difficult selling season: "The winter was rough — the economy, the strike, the weather...a little of everything."

· VP and General Manager of Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills John Martens told the pub: "We're working hard for every dollar we get in the store today. It's not business as usual; times have changed. It's a very challenging time for us and for most retailers."
· Hollywood Labor Strife: Retailers Dread Impact Of Walkout by Actors [WWD, subscription req]

Neiman Marcus

9700 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Visit Website

Kitson

115 S. Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048 310-859-2652 Visit Website

Hillary Rush

8222 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048 Visit Website