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West Coast Port Slowdown Is A Bonanza For Fashion Bargain-Hunters

The cargo-unloading slowdown on the West Coast of the United States had far-reaching effects on the global economy, causing problems for everyone from McDonald’s in Japan to truckers in Los Angeles. It was especially harmful to the fashion industry, which saw hot styles shipped over from Asia cool down as they sat off the coast, unable to be unloaded and put in stores. However, this means a bonanza for off-price retailers. [More]

SprintShack Stores Will Be Fully Staffed And Stocked In June

SprintShack Stores Will Be Fully Staffed And Stocked In June

The deal that Sprint made with the new owners of RadioShack means that the mobile carrier gets to effectively double the number of retail stores that it runs. That’s great for Sprint, but means that they need to hire people or move existing employees to the new stores. Don’t worry: Sprint will be ready and even have their signage out front by July. [More]

Weight Watchers Ice Cream Bars Set Good Example, Lose Weight

Weight Watchers Ice Cream Bars Set Good Example, Lose Weight

Weight Watchers-branded meals and snacks are supposed to make it easier to follow the Weight Watchers points system and, well, lose weight. Reader M is a fan of their packaged ice cream bars, and was disappointed when she noticed that they’re a little bit smaller than they used to be after a recent package redesign. Yes, it was the Grocery Shrink Ray. [More]

(713 Avenue)

Nevada’s Attorney General Is Investigating Cash4Laptops/Cash4iPhones

Last year, we shared two readers’ crappy experiences with the brand that does business under the names Cash4iPhones and Cash4Laptops. One had his offer for three phones cut by more than $900, and another received an offer of $263 for his phone and a check for $41. Our readers aren’t alone, of course, and the attorney general in the state of Nevada, where the company is based, is investigating them. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Will Upgrade Your PC At Reasonable Prices

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Will Upgrade Your PC At Reasonable Prices

The Raiders of the Lost Walmart are a fearless band of retail archaeologists who will stop at nothing to find uncover every retail antiquity that the world’s big-box stores have to offer. Whether it’s a rebate due in 2004 or a Game Boy Advance of ambiguous color, the Raiders have shared their findings with Consumerist so we can all…well, mostly we’ve just learned not to shop for electronics on clearance at discount stores. [More]

Postmates Underestimated Demand For Free Pizza In Minneapolis

Postmates Underestimated Demand For Free Pizza In Minneapolis

If such a thing is even possible, the delivery company Postmates underestimated the general public’s hunger for free pizza. To promote the expansion of their company to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Postmates offered free pizza to anyone who was able to place their order at just the right time. [More]

Beaver Wanders Into A Lowe’s Store, Finds Nothing Useful

Beaver Wanders Into A Lowe’s Store, Finds Nothing Useful

If you find a trip to your local home-improvement superstore daunting and stressful, imagine being a young adult beaver preparing to build your first home. One of the rodents wandered into the chain’s location in Fairbanks, Alaska, and wandered the store’s aisles aimlessly. It was as likely to find twigs and mud as you are to agree on a paint shade for the master bedroom. [More]

This photo has been censored for your protection. The real photos are at the end of this post. Don’t scroll down if you’re eating salad, maybe.

This Toxin-Emitting Beetle Is Not A Crunchy Salad Topping

Small animals love vegetables, and so do people. Sometimes small animals end up harvested along with vegetables, slip through safeguards in the system, and end up in our bowls. Usually, these are harmless, but what if they aren’t? Four people in different places have found potentially toxic beetles in their salad greens, and we really, really hope that there aren’t more out there lurking in more salads. [More]

The RadioShack Bankruptcy Consumer Privacy Report Is Out

The RadioShack Bankruptcy Consumer Privacy Report Is Out

The most controversial part of the RadioShack bankruptcy auction has been the proposed sale of the company’s extensive collection of e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. Everyone from Apple to most states’ attorneys general objects to this sale, which goes against the company’s privacy policy. That’s why the bankruptcy court appointed a privacy ombudsman to evaluate the situation and lay out some rules for how that information will be passed to the new owners of the RadioShack brand…or not. [More]

New York City Promises To Crack Down On Nail Salon Labor Abuses

New York City Promises To Crack Down On Nail Salon Labor Abuses

After the first-ever state Department of Labor crackdown and the New York Times published an investigative report on work conditions in the nail salon industry based on interviews with hundreds of workers, now politicians are taking action to help these vulnerable workers. Today, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio pledged that the city government will crack down on poor work conditions and pay in the city’s nail salons. [More]

One Month After Closing Stores For Plumbing Repairs, Walmart Actually Files For Permits

One Month After Closing Stores For Plumbing Repairs, Walmart Actually Files For Permits

When Walmart closed five stores in four different states on the same day, claiming that they were shutting down due to unspecified “plumbing problems,” people became suspicious. Some citizen theories involve the military, and others involve the nationwide OUR Walmart walkouts that began at one of the California stores targeted for temporary closing. One piece of evidence was that Walmart hadn’t yet filed for permits for any of these urgent renovations. Well, now they have. [More]

(Gregory Brown)

IKEA Is Testing Small Pick-Up Point Stores In Canada

I live in a smaller metropolitan area where people often whine that we have to drive more than two hours each way to visit an IKEA store. What if we didn’t, though? What if cities too small to support a mammoth IKEA of their own had small stores with some retail offerings, where they could pick up their online orders of flat-pack furniture themselves? The chain of mega-stores announced this week that they’re trying that idea out in Canada. [More]

New York Islanders Sell Bottles Of Melted Ice From Old Arena For $20

New York Islanders Sell Bottles Of Melted Ice From Old Arena For $20

Never underestimate the love that sports fans have for their favorite team’s old fields, rinks, and stadiums. Without that affection, there would be no sales of seats or infield dirt when those venues close. Now there’s another relic for team faithful to enjoy: the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders will sell $20 bottles of holy water to fans. I mean, melted ice from their last game at the now-closed their former home, the Nassau Coliseum. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(v rai)

Here are nine 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]

Low Gas Prices Make People Less Interested In Hybrid Cars

Low Gas Prices Make People Less Interested In Hybrid Cars

It should come as no surprise to people with any common sense that fuel-conserving hybrid cars were very popular when gas prices were high last decade, but aren’t as popular now that gas prices are closer to $2 per gallon than $4. The premium that customers must pay for a hybrid vehicle offsets the fuel savings nicely when gas prices are high, but takes longer to recoup when they fall. [More]

Mysterious Substance On Package Sickens Apple Store Employees, Sends 4 To Hospital

Mysterious Substance On Package Sickens Apple Store Employees, Sends 4 To Hospital

Retail stores receive lots of packages every day, but no one expects them to send employees to the hospital. That’s what happened at an Apple Store in Monterey, California, when a package covered with a mysterious chemical made store employees ill, sending four to the hospital and forcing authorities to evacuate that area of the mall. [More]

Every Regular Grocery Store Is Already A Downmarket Whole Foods

Every Regular Grocery Store Is Already A Downmarket Whole Foods

The idea of a lower-priced version of Whole Foods aimed at younger consumers is intriguing, but there’s already a hugely popular downmarket alternative to Whole Foods for people seeking natural and organic groceries. It’s called Walmart. [More]

Fans Of Avon’s Skin So Soft As A Bug Repellent Are Wrong

Fans Of Avon’s Skin So Soft As A Bug Repellent Are Wrong

Avon doesn’t market its Skin So Soft bath oil as an insect repellent, and it’s not clear where the legend that it works as one started. Yet many people swear by it, including avid outdoorspeople like my late dad. It’s not clear where the legend started, but as far as our myth-repellent colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports can tell, Skin So Soft doesn’t actually repel insects. [More]