T-Mobile Agrees To Show Throttled Users Their Actual Speeds

T-Mobile Agrees To Show Throttled Users Their Actual Speeds

For the last few months, the Federal Communication Commission has been investigating the data-throttling practices of the country’s major mobile carriers. While AT&T doesn’t see the problem, T-Mobile has come to an agreement with the federal regulator, promising to tell customers when they’ve been throttled, and to lead them to an accurate speed test where they can find out what their current speed is. [More]

Report: 109 Sears And Kmart Stores Now Expected To Close By Early 2015

Report: 109 Sears And Kmart Stores Now Expected To Close By Early 2015

There’s more cost-cutting planned at Sears Holdings through the end of this year and the beginning of next year. That news shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the total has increased to 39 Sears stores, and 70 Kmart stores, along with one Sears distribution center, one Kmart distribution center, and three Sears repair centers. [More]

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie ‘Doesn’t Reflect The Brand’s Vision’

Earlier today, we wondered why the communications people over at Mattel hadn’t answered any questions about a book starring Barbie as a computer engineer. Barbie’s “engineering” job consisted of designing puppies while having male colleagues code the game and reboot her computer. This isn’t just sexist, but an inaccurate representation of what computer engineers do. Good news: Steven and Brian managed to get the virus off PR Barbie’s computer, and the book’s author has spoken up as well. UPDATE: Amazon also appears to have pulled the e-book version of this title. [More]

UPS Works To Avoid Another Holiday Backlog, Will Charge Retailers Extra If It Happens

UPS Works To Avoid Another Holiday Backlog, Will Charge Retailers Extra If It Happens

Dear retailers: UPS has its eye you. In an interview with the wire service Reuters, the company’s CEO explained its efforts to avoid another disaster like the Christmas 2013 shipping delay that left many Americans sad and giftless. Namely, if retailers try any last-minute sale shenanigans while promising delivery by Christmas, it’s going to cost them. Money. [More]

Report: Payment Information Breaches At Staples And Michaels May Be Linked

Report: Payment Information Breaches At Staples And Michaels May Be Linked

It’s no longer surprising news when hackers infiltrate the systems of a brick-and-mortar retailer and run off with our credit card numbers. Shoppers have come to expect that kind of thing as a normal part of shopping. However, it’s interesting (and a bit scary) to note that two relatively small breaches at national chains could be linked. [More]

Authorities Have No Idea How Family Bought LSD-Contaminated Beef At Walmart

Authorities Have No Idea How Family Bought LSD-Contaminated Beef At Walmart

How does a package of beef become contaminated with the hallucinogenic drug LSD? Authorities in Florida and in the federal government have been trying to figure that out for the last right months. Last week, local police in Tampa released their report and made the case inactive. They still have no idea how the drug got there. [More]

MobiBlu MP3 Player Looks Forward To Spending 10th Birthday On Walmart Shelf

MobiBlu MP3 Player Looks Forward To Spending 10th Birthday On Walmart Shelf

In the field of retail archaeology, some items are more common than others. For example, the Raiders of the Lost Walmart have excavated examples of the MobiBLU, a tiny MP3 player that dates back to around 2005, from the electronics departments of many Walmart stores almost a decade later. They have hilariously high prices, ranging from $109.73 to $60. We’ve been tracking this item since August of 2013, yet Walmart can’t mark it down to a more appropriate price of maybe five bucks.
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(Nicholas Eckhart)

Employee’s Daughter Asks Kmart To Give Mom Some Time Off On Thanksgiving

Should stores be open on Thanksgiving Day? While some businesses, such as hotels, gas stations, airlines, and even restaurants must be open to keep civilization running and make sure other people can get to their destinations and enjoy their holidays. Yet many non-essential businesses are open. Like Kmart. The child of one Kmart employee is unhappy about this, and wants the store to consider maybe giving her mom, a 21-year employee, the day off. [More]

Pizza Hut Is Selling A Giant Pizza-Sized Quesadilla In New Zealand

Pizza Hut Is Selling A Giant Pizza-Sized Quesadilla In New Zealand

For a while now, Pizza Hut has reserved many of its wackier pizza creations for the chain’s international outposts. Earlier this week, we learned that some of those more interesting flavors have been brought stateside, and one of our colleagues even got to try them. We can’t imagine the Hut bringing their new product line in New Zealand stateside, though. Even if Mary Beth would probably eat it. [More]

(vxla jojoling)

Starbucks Runs BOGO Holiday Drink Promo, Forgets To Specify ‘Holiday’ Drinks On Flyer

Reader Dave says that he’s a regular at his local Starbucks, and last week when he stopped by, the employees handed him a flyer. It promoted some special events this week surrounding the release of the chain’s holiday gift items and themed beverage items. Part of that is a buy one, get one free deal for holiday beverages every afternoon for the rest of this week. That was what the press release and e-mails to customers said. Dave’s flyer said something different. [More]

(Trent Rose) Not the Sears in question. No SUVs visible here.

SUV Drives Into Closing Sears Store, Injures No One

When a driver lost control of her Lexus SUV in the parking lot of a mall in Solon, Ohio yesterday afternoon, the story could have had a tragic ending. Instead, only the driver sustained minor injuries. While there was property damage to the shopping center, the car ended up inside a Sears Grand department store…one that is scheduled to close before the end of the year. [More]

(SchuminWeb)

Walmart Tells All U.S. Managers They Can Now Price-Match Online Retailers Like Amazon

It’s a war out there in the world of retail, and having the lowest prices around is a weapon every brick-and-mortar store has been trying to keep in its arsenal. Not so easy when online retailers like Amazon are constantly lowering prices. All that might change for Walmart, as store managers have been told it’s time to officially start price-matching Amazon and others. [More]

(mpd01605)

Walmart Bosses Want More Grocery Sales, Store Managers Complain About Understaffing

Walmart’s big bosses are unhappy with the mega-retailer’s grocery sales, but store-level bosses are in turn unhappy with the number of staff members they’re allotted to keep the shelves stocked and clean. What does this mean? A media war of words, where Walmart sent an “urgent” and “highly sensitive” memorandum to store managers last month, and one manager in turn leaked that memo to the New York Times to expose why the milk and vegetable sections at your local Walmart look so crappy. [More]

Sears Holdings Ponders Forming A Real Estate Trust, Selling Stores To It

Sears Holdings Ponders Forming A Real Estate Trust, Selling Stores To It

Two things are true about Sears Holdings: the company owns a lot of stores, and those stores are not selling enough merchandise. In order to raise some cash, in the last year the company has spun off its best quality clothing brand, sold shares in its Canadian subsidiary, borrowed money from its CEO, and taken on some roommates. What’s next? Selling some of its stores and leasing them back. [More]

(Mr. Nixter)

Time Warner Wants $20,000 To Connect Rural Customer To Broadband

Ten years ago, a man in central New York decided to build a house in a rural area. This seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, but broadband Internet wasn’t as crucial to modern life then as it is now. There are Time Warner Cable lines in the small town of Pompey, southeast of Syracuse, a third of a mile from his house, but Time Warner says that it would cost more than $20,000 to connect him. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Have Your Windows Vista Needs Covered

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Have Your Windows Vista Needs Covered

Do you need a copy of Windows Vista, a rather poorly-received version of the operating system? We can’t think of any circumstances under which someone would need a copy of Vista, but maybe there is one. If there is, one Walmart store has got them covered. [More]

Apparently, Someone Wants A Sterling Silver Starbucks Card Keychain

Apparently, Someone Wants A Sterling Silver Starbucks Card Keychain

Are you a Starbucks super-fan, or is someone you know? If so, consider this year’s Starbucks super-fan gift, which goes on sale next Wednesday. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a Starbucks gift card with a 400% markup, or a $150 silver keychain that also requires a $50 Starbucks gift card purchase. [More]

Microsoft Offers Lumia-Fitbit Flex Bundle, Forgets It Just Launched Own Fitness Tracker

Microsoft Offers Lumia-Fitbit Flex Bundle, Forgets It Just Launched Own Fitness Tracker

Here’s some exciting news if you’re in the market for both a new smartphone and a fitness-tracking wristband: AT&T has a deal right now where you can pay $99 for a shiny new Nokia Lumia 830, and with that get a Fitbit Flex wristband, which costs $99 by itself. That sounds like a great deal: unless you’re part of the team that just launched Microsoft’s own fitness-tracking wristband. [More]