Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Will a central Fresno Walmart change your shopping habits?

photo(62)In case you missed it, Walmart has announced it will open a supercenter smack dab in the middle of town — in the former Mervyns at Blackstone and Ashlan that’s been empty for five years. You can read the full story, but basically Walmart will open a store that’s a tad smaller than typical supercenters, and includes a full grocery store, clothing, toys and electronics — but no auto center. (Much to the relief of the GoodGuys Tire just steps away, I’m sure.) Work has already started. It will create 250 jobs and open this summer.

The news inspired a flood of comments on The Fresno Bee Facebook page and the story, from people saying it will chase away prostitutes and homeless in the area to comments from people who boycott Walmart. Others said they’d really prefer an Ikea there.

The one thing that’s for sure is that a Walmart there will change things. Will it change your shopping habits? Having such a store there is likely to draw some customers away from the nearby Save Mart, Vons and the Grocery Outlet right across the street. It might mean competition for the Target at Blackstone and Bullard avenues, too. Will it change your habits? Will you shop there?

Would you wear flying space kitty leggings?

After images of these leggings showed up in my social media feeds three times, I just had to share them with you. These babies are for sale at Target for $14.99 in the women’s section (note, not the little girls section, the full-grown women’s section). I found them at the Bullard and Blackstone avenues store, but I’m betting they’re at other locations too.

My question for you: Would you wear them? And what on earth would you pair them with? I can maybe, just maybe imagine my 18-year-old self wearing these to a Rocky Horror Picture show, but other than that — no.  Just no. You?
Capos leggings 023


You rate the look: Target’s new Prabal Gurung collection

prabal222Target will unveil its Prabal Gurung collection Sunday, its latest collaboration with a high-end designer. Gurung’s women’s clothing, purses, shoes and jewelry range from $12.99 to $199.99 at Target.

No word yet on whether Gurung’s will sell out like Jason Wu’s collection did.

Gurung’s clothing ranges from brightly colored ruffled dresses to pieces that look like they’ve been subject to Jackson Pollock’s paintbrush.

What do you think? What would you wear or not be caught dead in? Personally, I love the classic-with-an-update ruffled dresses, like the bright red one. I think some of the more busy prints are probably a little more appropriate for teens than someone my age.

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Black Friday: Mindless greed or harmless fun?

Photo by Bee photographer Eric Zamora

As the Bee’s retail reporter, I cover Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season, every year. At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, I found myself at Fashion Fair mall, stuck in a mob of people outside Victoria’s Secret.

The crowd had completely filled up the mall corridor and come to a standstill. Hundreds of people were trying to get inside the store, which was letting only a few people in at a time. It was hot, people were breathing on me and a feeling of claustrophobia was starting to climb up my throat. I heard screaming. The forearm of the woman behind me was pressing into my back even though I’d already loudly told her to stop pushing me. I reached behind me and squeezed her arm because it seemed like the only thing to do at the time that might get her to stop.

I’d find out later that people were getting pushed and smashed up against the glass of Victoria’s Secret. All this for what? A $25 hoodie? Don’t these people know you can get a hoodie at Target for $12 any day of the year? Suddenly I came to a crystal clear conclusion: I hate this. I want to be as far away from here as possible.

But as miserable as that experience was, it’s hard to demonize Black Friday as a whole. There’s another side to the night that’s just plain fun. Earlier in the evening, people were friendly and quick to laugh as I hopped from store to store. Whenever I asked someone who spent hours waiting to get sinside a store how they passed the time, they all said the same thing: Making new friends. People who were once strangers were swapping stories, jokes and shopping strategies. The woman who ate her Thanksgiving dinner on the sidewalk outside Target befriended a cute little 10-year-old boy and the two of them laughed their way through the hours. Mothers and daughters in town for the holiday spent hours catching up.

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Ladies, get ready to shop! Target unveils new looks from Jason Wu

Target unveiled the new looks from designer Jason Wu that will go on sale between Feb. 5 and March 6. The mix of dresses, skirts, tops, handbags and scarves look pretty cute, and seem like they would flatter most body types. Target describes the line this way:

Jason Wu for Target brings a mix of modern, sophisticated pieces in bold hues and feminine prints that women everywhere will love. The designer collection is inspired by the vision of an American girl in Paris, bringing Jason Wu’s signature aesthetic and attention to detail to Target’s guests at incredible prices.

The prices seem pretty affordable. Apparel will cost from $19.99 to $59.99, while handbags and scarves will cost $19.99 to $49.99. (The look above: Jersey Dress in Red/Navy Stripes, $34.99 Cat Tote in Cream, $39.99).

Here are some of the looks.

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‘The Daily Show’ … in Fresno?!?

In a recent “Daily Show” piece about California’s direct democracy woes, it looks like “reporter” John Oliver is hanging in Fresno. Astute “Daily Show” viewers might have noticed the Target at the end of the clip looks a lot like the Target at River Park. And, in fact, the address visible on the building matches the address of said Target.

Hard to say for 100% certainty it’s a Daily Show/Fresno collabo, but I’m willing to claim it as a DTJSF moment — even if the F-word isn’t uttered. Note: While the Target scene is at the end piece, the whole thing is probably worth your five minutes based solely on our state’s foul-mouthed Democratic chairman.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
California’s Direct Democracy Troubles
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Gwen Stefani + Target = new kids clothing line


Did anyone see the news that super fashion icon and singer Gwen Stefani has teamed up with Target to launch a new kids clothing line, Harajuku Mini for Target?

The clothing, for babies, kids and tweens, will be available in stories and online Nov. 13. Stefani says the items are inspired by “playful” Japanese kids clothing and encourages creativity and individual expression. Cost will be $3.99 to $29.99.

What do you think? Will you give your kid a Stefani-style makeover?