(Adam Fagen)

Burberry Sues JCPenney Over Coats In Familiar-Looking Plaid

Do you recognize Burberry’s distinctive plaid on sight? The British company assumes that most clothing shoppers do, and has filed a lawsuit against JCPenney for using a similar plaid in scarves and coats that it has sold recently. [More]

Report: Amazon Wants To Help International Factories Sell Directly To You

Report: Amazon Wants To Help International Factories Sell Directly To You

A few years ago, Amazon made a prediction that came true: shoppers were about to use Amazon more for commerce across oceans and borders, ordering easily from all over the world. Yet experts at Amazon must have been wondering how they could help international merchants along, and make more money while they were at it. One possible solution: becoming a freight and warehouse operation for manufacturers abroad. [More]

(Ray Andrews)

Banks Mail Out Pre-Activated Credit Cards, Don’t See The Problem

When you receive a new credit or debit card in the mail, it usually arrives in need of activation. You have to call a number and verify some information: sure, no information that a determined identity thief wouldn’t already have, but at least it stops random passers-by from harvesting credit cards from mailboxes. Only pre-activated cards are a new trend in banking again. Some customers aren’t thrilled. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Sears Holdings To Accelerate, Expand Planned Store Closings

The only bit of good news in the most recent financial report from Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears and Kmart, is that the sibling stores had better sales during the holiday season than last year, and not just because they kicked off Christmas in mid-September. Unfortunately, the news isn’t very good other than that: the company is still losing money in its retail business, and plans to speed up its planned store closings. [More]

New Chipotle Food Safety Procedures Include Shutting Down Restaurant If Anyone Barfs

New Chipotle Food Safety Procedures Include Shutting Down Restaurant If Anyone Barfs

Yesterday, Chipotle restaurants didn’t open until 3 PM so 50,000 or so restaurant employees could sit in hotel conference rooms or movie theaters to watch a live-streamed company-wide meeting about food safety. The future of the chain is at stake, and their task is to prove to the public that they’re not trying to make us all sick. [More]

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

How many likely tenants are there for a concrete suburban office complex of 470,000 square feet? The owners of office complexes are having similar problems to the owners of malls, but for different reasons. As shoppers have moved either to ritzier malls or to shipping online, offices have moved back into cities. Both changes leave behind massive buildings or complexes that nobody wants. [More]

Fake store, real Kmart.

The Pilot Of NBC’s ‘Superstore’ Was Filmed Inside A Real Kmart

What happens when a TV production team wants to make a show set in a big-box discount store, but can’t build an entire store set because they’re only filming a pilot episode? To film “Superstore,” a new (and funny) show on NBC, they lightly remodeled a Kmart store in Burbank, California, and used it as their set… while the store remained open. [More]

4 Things We’ve Learned About Getting The Best Valentine’s Day Flowers For Your Money

Happyshooter

Every year, after the major flower-giving holidays, readers send us photos of what they ordered and what they actually received. It’s a dismaying scene, and what we really want is to never publish another of these features again. That’s why we’re sharing what we’ve learned about the flower business from readers and from florists in the 10 years that Consumerist has been around. [More]

Jack In The Box Promotes New Burger By Giving Away A Million Of Them

Jack In The Box Promotes New Burger By Giving Away A Million Of Them

If you’re introducing a new fast-food product, the best way to get it into the public’s hands is to give it to them for free in a massive taste test. That’s the logic that Jack In The Box is using in their promotion for the Double Jack, in which they’re giving away a million burgers to anyone who’s interested. [More]

A Stop Payment On A Check Only Lasts About Six Months

A Stop Payment On A Check Only Lasts About Six Months

When you write a check and it’s lost, stolen, or you have some other reason to do so, you call your bank and ask for a “stop payment” on it, usually incurring some kind of fee. Stopping the payment means that no one can ever deposit or cash that check, though, right? No: generally, the order lasts about six months. [More]

We Can Blame Ron Johnson For The Wave Of ‘Perpetual Sale’ Lawsuits, Maybe

We Can Blame Ron Johnson For The Wave Of ‘Perpetual Sale’ Lawsuits, Maybe

In the last few years, consumers, usually based in California, have been filing lawsuits against retailers and their outlet stores alleging that “suggested” and “original” prices on items are pretty much just pulled out of the air. Seeing the amount or percentage that we saved is thrilling for some shoppers, but those “original” prices were never official prices. Whose fault is this? Former JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson, maybe. [More]

A deli with no meats. (Nicholas Eckhart)

Here’s A Look Inside The Last Days Of Some Closing Walmarts

We expect that Walmart stores are crammed full of merchandise and people, and they look wrong when they no longer have either. Walmart recently completed a round of store closings, including the entire Walmart Express chain. Naturally, some of our readers were there, and brought their cameras. [More]

Consumer Reports Shares Mosquito Repellent Ratings For Zika Virus Prevention

Consumer Reports Shares Mosquito Repellent Ratings For Zika Virus Prevention

Even if you’ve only been half paying attention to the news, you’ve heard something about the Zika virus, even if it’s only that a bunch of people have changed their travel plans, governments are advising couples to delay trying to conceive children, and someone had to rename a car. It’s spread mainly by mosquitoes, , and that’s something that our product-testing cousins down the hall at Consumer Reports can help with. They test mosquito repellents, and have released their ratings to non-subscribers. [More]

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Last spring, a woman wearing a full-skirted dress walked into a RadioShack store in Florida and used the garment to conceal electronics with a retail value of more than $1,100. That was no one-time crime of opportunity, it turns out: people who appear to be the same woman and her male companion were spotted on camera again at the same store, though the items this time were lower value. [More]

Fabletics Seeks New Subscribers By Opening Stores In Malls

Fabletics Seeks New Subscribers By Opening Stores In Malls

Fabletics is an athleticwear company for women that sells nice workout wear outfits for about $50. They operate on a subscription model: every month, you’ll get billed for a subscription unless you log in and decide not to buy anything that month. It’s like Columbia House for yoga pants. Yet the company is doing something sort of unexpected for a retailer that uses this business model: they’re opening a seventh real-life store, with the new one at the Mall of America in Minnesota. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(John Hanley)

Live The Dream: Buy Your Own Doomsday Bunker In Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, northeast of Belfast, the country built a massive underground bunker big enough to hold 235 people. It was meant for the country’s elite to shelter themselves in the event of nuclear war. Its existence was only made public in 2007, and the government has decided to get rid of it. There’s a problem, though: it’s easy enough to sell government surplus filing cabinets or tanks, but what’s the market for 46,363 square feet of blastproof and windowless real estate? [More]

Why Does Everyone’s Phone-Tracking Program Lead To This Couple’s House?

Why Does Everyone’s Phone-Tracking Program Lead To This Couple’s House?

Either a couple who live outside of Atlanta have a mobile phone theft ring running in their basement that they know nothing about, or there’s a technological problem that’s sending everyone in the area looking for a lost mobile phone to their doorstep. Phones from every carrier and major manufacturer have told “find my phone” app users that the devices are in their house. Some very angry phoneless people have showed up, and they have a reasonable fear that one of these conversations could turn violent. [More]