Shopping event aims for more spending in L.A.

BEVERLY CENTER, LOS ANGELES Sales tax is the fifth-largest source of General Fund revenue in the city of Los Angeles, so what better way to boost revenues than by getting Angelenos to spend more here? Wednesday Mayor Villaraigosa announced two city-driven plans, Fashion's Night Out and Shop LA, designed to spur consumer spending.

The curtain pulls up to unveil a billboard at the entrance of the Beverly Center announcing L.A.'s participation in the global event called Fashion's Night Out.

"On this night, designers will be at their own boutiques, which is a good thing. There will be in-house fashion shows, amazing deals," said Villaraigosa. "I'm looking for the amazing deals."

Sponsored by Vogue magazine, the concept is to boost consumer confidence and the industry's economy in cities around the world on September 10.

From Abbot Kinney to the Beverly Center to the Garment District, more than 300 large and small retailers will take part in Fashion's Night Out locally, promoting an industry that already generates $5.7 billion in direct sales for Los Angeles each year.

"We're asking people to go and shop to contribute to the L.A. economy, to take advantage of the great designers, the fashion industry we have here, and importantly, to contribute to the city's coffers," said Villaraigosa.

"Those additional sales tax revenues, which go directly to the General Fund, will pay for more library hours, more cops and firefighters on the street, and yes, help staff animal services, the zoo and other important departments," said Al Abrams, spokesman for the L.A. Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.

The mayor says he wants to put the fun back into shopping, and he used Wednesday's news conference to also announce Shop LA, a yearlong effort to encourage Los Angeles residents to do their shopping, dining and other spending within the city limits of Los Angeles to generate much-needed revenues for the city.

"At a time when we have to make so many cuts, the best way to avoid them is to raise revenues, and this is a great way to do it: shopping in the city of Los Angeles," said Villaraigosa.

Want to shop till you drop? Next Friday, September 10, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. is Fashion's Night Out at retailers within the city limits of Los Angeles.

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