Keeping you informed is one of our goals at The Motley Fool. So just in case you missed it, here's a recap of what happened during the week of Dec. 4-8 in the retail sector, as reported by our best and brightest.

The week started off by looking backwards. That's because last week, women's-fashion clothier bebe (NASDAQ:BEBE) reported good performance in November but warned about the future. True to form, the market freaked out and sent shares into a free-fall. Fortunately, cooler heads like Alyce Lomax joined the scene, wondering whether this was yet another opportunity to invest in the company.

We also heard from Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE), finally. The company had to delay its quarterly filing while it sorted out its contribution to the stock-option backdating greed-fest. But I digress. Ryan Fuhrmann was impressed with its ability to generate cash during a tough environment.

Did the LBO madness hit its peak this week? Perhaps. CEO Robert Nardelli squashed rumors of a potential $100 billion (yes, that's right -- billion with a "b") buyout of Home Depot (NYSE:HD). Tom Taulli recommended avoiding the stock until things calmed down a bit.

What's the best thing you can give a Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) coffee lover? Apparently it's a rechargeable gift card. Alyce Lomax gave us a great synopsis of just how successful the performance of this product has been, as well as what it has meant to the company. I don't think we should be surprised by this brilliant marketing tactic, however, given the nature of gift cards and caffeinated beverages.

All companies mature. It's what companies do once they mature that matters. Nate Parmelee certainly likes what he seesYum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) doing, as it plans to raise its dividend while continuing to allocate free cash flow to repurchasing shares. I have to say I agree with him.

Not everything is rosy in the restaurant business, though. Unfortunately, my and my wife's favorite sandwich shop, Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA), said that its December sales are going to be lower than expected because of the recent storms in the Midwest. My wife and I will see how we can help the situation from South Carolina.

According to Rich Smith, Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ:JOSB) appears to be getting things back on track with good store growth. Rich showed that, despite some impressive growth from sources outside its stores, store growth continues to make the big contributions. For that, he says thanks.

Whoa! That's today. Better check out the site to see what's going on.

So that's the week that was in retail. Tune in next week to see what Foolishness our best analysts will be serving up.

Bebe and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Home Depot is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Whether you're into deep values or exciting growth, the Fool has a newsletter for you. And you're just a few clicks away from afree 30-day trialto any of them.

Retail editor and Inside Value team memberDavid Meieris ranked 293 out of 15249 in CAPS and does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. You can view his TMF profilehere. The Fool takes itsdisclosure policyvery seriously.