Amazon Lays Off Engineers Behind Fire Phone, Reorganizes Hardware Division

Amazon Lays Off Engineers Behind Fire Phone, Reorganizes Hardware Division

You’ve probably never heard of Lab126, but you’ve definitely heard of their parent company and their products. They’re a division of Amazon, started in Silicon Valley eleven years ago to create the e-reader that we now know as the Kindle. They also created some projects that haven’t caught on quite as well, like the Fire Phone, and engineers who worked on that projects have reportedly been sent on their way. [More]

Gap Will End On-Call Scheduling In All Of Its Stores

Gap Will End On-Call Scheduling In All Of Its Stores

On-call scheduling is a retail practice that looks great on a store’s budget on paper, but wrecks employees’ lives in real life. Gap Inc. is the third major retailer in recent months that has announced that they’re ending the practice across all of their brands, after months working on what they call “sustainable scheduling practices.” [More]

If You Sell Nail Polish, Try Not To Destroy Your Customers’ Nails

If You Sell Nail Polish, Try Not To Destroy Your Customers’ Nails

If you like to paint your nails, but are part of the drugstore polish-wearing masses, you might not be familiar with the vibrant online scene of small-batch cosmetics producers, or “indie beauty” businesses. The mini-industry drew outside attention this week when use of one brand of polish was linked to some scary and painful problems in customers’ nails. [More]

Bigger Packages Of Kraft Cheese Slices Have Smaller Slices, No One Will Tell Us Why

Bigger Packages Of Kraft Cheese Slices Have Smaller Slices, No One Will Tell Us Why

American cheese slices: they’re handy, they make a fine grilled cheese, and they fit conveniently in your purse. What’s not to enjoy? Yet Allen noticed something strange while shopping for cheese: the size of each slice varies slightly according to how big a package of cheese you’re buying. Why is that? Update: Now we know why. [More]

RadioShack Agrees To Pay Outstanding Gift Card Balances Before Paying Other Debts

RadioShack Agrees To Pay Outstanding Gift Card Balances Before Paying Other Debts

The state attorney general of Texas, home state of the company formerly known as RadioShack, wasn’t pleased that the electronics retailer went out of business with an estimated $46 million in gift cards outstanding. Normal bankruptcy procedure is that gift card holders who don’t cash in their cards before the deadline–usually 30 days after the company files for bankruptcy status — are out of luck. Thanks to the TX AG, the American public won’t have to shrug off the loss of that money… unless they lost their gift card. [More]

(littleyiye)

Sephora’s Offering To Customers Upset About Epic Rewards: $50 Gift Codes

Earlier this month, we shared with you the story of Sephora’s Epic Rewards promotion that quickly ran out of rewards. Customers were upset after the promotion, believing that they had been misled into racking up points for special “rewards” when there were so few rewards to go around that it might as well have been a raffle. Today, as promised, Sephora is starting to e-mail these customers with their final offering: a $50 gift code. [More]

(The Impulsive Buy)

Hostess Makes Candy Corn-Themed Cupcakes For Some Reason

It’s not clear whether there’s any flavoring or indeed anything else at all that makes these Hostess Cupcakes more candy corn-ish than any other random yellow cupcake with frosting and sprinkles. What we do know is that they exist, they are orange, yellow, and white, and they are a “limited edition.” Which means that you should stock up or something. [More]

Oscar Mayer Recalls 2 Million Pounds Of Turkey Bacon That May Spoil Before Its Time

Oscar Mayer Recalls 2 Million Pounds Of Turkey Bacon That May Spoil Before Its Time

Customers have been contacting Kraft Heinz Foods about something unfortunate: their packages of turkey bacon were going bad long before the posted expiration dates. The company investigated these complaints, and the investigation has culminated in more than 2 million pounds of bacon being recalled because it too might go bad. [More]

(TheGiantVermin)

Starkist Class Action Settlement Means Customers Get $25 In Cash Or $50 In Tuna

Two and a half years ago, a man who eats tuna filed a class action lawsuit against Starkist, a tuna company. His allegation was that the company was deliberately under-filling each can by a few tenths of an ounce. That might not make a difference to one consumer making one tuna salad, but would add up over millions of cans. While Starkist doesn’t admit fault, the case has been settled. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find Ancient And Mysterious My Little Ponies

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find Ancient And Mysterious My Little Ponies

Within the elite squad of retail archaeologists known as the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, some Raiders have subspecialties. Their deep subject knowledge gives us a better understanding of the antiquities that they find buried in the nation’s big-box stores. One of these specialists is Professor Jeffrey, subject expert on My Little Pony. [More]

Investors Want McDonald’s To Spin $20 Billion In Property Off Into Real Estate Investment Trust

Investors Want McDonald’s To Spin $20 Billion In Property Off Into Real Estate Investment Trust

While McDonald’s doesn’t own the majority of its restaurants, it does own tens of billions of dollars’ worth of the real estate where those restaurants operate, leasing them to franchisees. That’s a valuable asset, and the company is facing pressure from some investors to spin off its land and buildings into a separate, publicly traded McDonaldland. I mean, real estate investment trust. Which they should name McDonaldland. [More]

Best Buy Figures Out Key To Retail Success: Competitive Prices, Good Service, Apple Watches

Best Buy Figures Out Key To Retail Success: Competitive Prices, Good Service, Apple Watches

We don’t cheer on the demise of companies here at Consumerist: when a company appears on this site repeatedly, it’s because we want them to be better. Best Buy used to be a frequent subject of posts here, but now they aren’t. Americans haven’t all abandoned the retailer: it’s actually doing well, with its mini-store concept paying off. What’s coming up soon for the company? More Apple mini-stores. [More]

(JeepersMedia)

Sears Hires Experienced Consumer Appliance Executive To Run Hardlines, Maybe Sell Stuff

In a department or discount store, “hardlines” refers to tools, appliances, and furniture: the items that your parents still shop at Sears for, but that you don’t. Sears has hired a new executive in charge of their hardlines departments, which include the company’s three most important house brands: Kenmore appliances, Diehard automobile batteries, and Craftsman tools. [More]

Car Dealerships Still Don’t Understand How Customer Surveys Should Work

Car Dealerships Still Don’t Understand How Customer Surveys Should Work

For years now, we’ve shared stories of how the current system of car dealership surveys is unfair to everyone involved. If you’re in the market for a car or considering a career in car brand marketing, consider how something as simple as a customer service survey has devolved into bullying, pleading, and lies. [More]

New Fast Food Item Ideas Are Born In Test Kitchens, In Franchises, And Everywhere Else

New Fast Food Item Ideas Are Born In Test Kitchens, In Franchises, And Everywhere Else

Back in 1972, McDonald’s only served two meals each day: lunch and dinner. It took one enterprising franchisee to invent the Egg McMuffin, and with it, the entire fast food breakfast sandwich industry. Yet there aren’t many new menu items that survive the testing phase in the fast food industry, and a variety of factors could stop a new item on its way to international greatness. [More]

Failed Kickstarter Project Ships Cards 3 Years Late After State Of Washington Sues

Failed Kickstarter Project Ships Cards 3 Years Late After State Of Washington Sues

You may remember that last month, we reported that the first legal action against a crowdfunded project ended with the state of Washington imposing $54,851 in restitution, civil penalties, and the attorney general’s costs and fees on the company, based on the number of backers who lived in Washington state at the time of the Kickstarter campaign. Now there’s a complication: the company is actually starting to ship stuff. [More]

(Jeff Dailey)

Bargain-Hunting Youngsters Extend The Back-To-School Season Well Into September

Back in July, early research showed that families planned to spend slightly more on back-to-school shopping than last year. A different survey by the National Retail Federation shows that families plan to spend less on back-to-school shopping this year. In addition to starting the back-to-school season earlier, it seems that retailers are extending it for longer, realizing that youngsters have learned to bargain-hunt as well as their parents. [More]

There Should Not Be Two Examples Of Target Math In The Same Aisle

There Should Not Be Two Examples Of Target Math In The Same Aisle

Pricing errors happen. That’s a fact of retail. What we’ve never been able to understand, though, is why they happen so often at Target, and why that store tends to make the same errors over and over: specifically, pricing items so you pay more when you buy in bulk, and posting “sale” signs with higher prices than the original price. [More]