For Only $400, Frost Your Beer Glasses Without Pesky Freezers

For Only $400, Frost Your Beer Glasses Without Pesky Freezers

It’s really too easy to make fun of idiotic and overpriced items available for sale in places like Hammacher Schlemmer, Skymall, Brookstone, infomercials and even the more distant and strange corners of Amazon. Yet sometimes there’s a product so baffling that we have to feature it anyway. The Beer Glass Froster for home use is one of those products. [More]

Free Rat Included In Supermarket Bakery Apple Cake

Free Rat Included In Supermarket Bakery Apple Cake

A Long Island man wanted only one thing for his 96th birthday celebration: a German apple ring cake from grocer King Kullen. Sounds festive and delicious. When the family cut into it during his party, though, they found something extra mixed in. Nope, not extra apple filling or a bonus cinnamon swirl. (Warning: there are photos after the jump.) [More]

(u2acro)

What Do You Shop For In November?

Our power-shopping colleagues over at Consumer Reports don’t just test every product you can think of: they also keep track of what’s on the market and when is the best time to buy certain things. Looking over their November list, we wondered: what do Consumerist readers shop for during this month? [More]

(Mahat Tattva)

Hundreds Of Simon Malls Will Open On Thanksgiving Day, Stay Open 26+ Hours Straight

Simon Property Group might not be a household name, but you’ve probably visited one of their establishments before: they’re the whole or partial owner of hundreds of malls. That’s 242 million square feet of retail space and thousands of stores in almost every state, Canada, and Asia. Most of them are opening up during dinnertime or the early evening on Thanksgiving Day. [More]

Is Gift Wholesaler Cody Foster & Co. Responsible For Wholesale Ripoffs Of Indie Crafters?

Is Gift Wholesaler Cody Foster & Co. Responsible For Wholesale Ripoffs Of Indie Crafters?

You’ve probably never heard of Cody Foster & Company, even if you own items that came from them. They’re a wholesaler with no public-facing catalog. You have to be a small gift shop or large-ish chain like Anthropologie to even see their site. You can buy directly from the independent crafters and designers who claim that the company took their designs, mass-produced them in China, and sold them to retailers with no compensation to the original artists. [More]

Pecan Pie Pringles Appear In Stores, We’re Not Sure Why

Pecan Pie Pringles Appear In Stores, We’re Not Sure Why

Last year, Pringles brought us a weird trio of holiday potato chip flavors: pumpkin pie, peppermint white chocolate, and cinnamon and sugar. Now the “dessert Pringle” theme continues, with another pie-flavored chip offering: pecan. [More]

(MikeKalasnik)

Is Hobby Lobby Deliberately Excluding Jewish Merchandise?

Hobby Lobby doesn’t really try to hide that their owners are very devout Christians. If the instrumental hymns on the store’s sound system didn’t clue you in, maybe the evangelical Easter newspaper ads, the company’s legal fight over health insurance reform, or stores being closed on Sunday would be a hint. But does that translate to deliberately excluding merchandise and holiday decorations for other religions? [More]

Marketers Make Black Friday A Monthly Occurrence

Marketers Make Black Friday A Monthly Occurrence

It seems like a very long time ago that the phrase “Black Friday” referred to the day after Thanksgiving, an important but scary day in the retail calendar that kicked off the Christmas shopping season. Isn’t that still supposed to be the case? Not according to marketers, who have now expanded Black Fridays to every month of the year, because why not? [More]

(JoelZimmer)

There’s A New iPhone Coming. Where Should You Sell Your Old One?

Every year, the trees shed their leaves before winter comes, and gadget-lovers shed their iPhones once the new one appears on store shelves. While rumor circulate about exactly what the newest version will have (a thumbprint reader? A glorious golden case?) we know for sure that Apple fans want to know where they can get the most cash for their stale old phones. [More]

Does The Garden Of Discontent Still Bloom In The Off-Season?

Does The Garden Of Discontent Still Bloom In The Off-Season?

Daniel ordered what’s called a “country bundle” from 1-800-Flowers for his girlfriend. When we have flowers delivered, we’re not buying dead plant stems. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be such a large industry built around flower delivery. What we’re buying is the experience of dazzling our partner when they see the flowers. Daniel’s girlfriend received this arrangement, but she wasn’t dazzled. Should she have been? [More]

Urban Outfitters Slaps Elite Army Insignia On Vest, Charges $84

Urban Outfitters Slaps Elite Army Insignia On Vest, Charges $84

Urban Outfitters and its sibling store, Anthropologie, have never been paragons of honor and good taste. Someone’s always accusing the company of ripping off an independent designer here, promoting underage drinking, drug abuse, and eating disorders there, and the occasional $400 racist trope candlestick. This week, however, they managed to anger some of the most elite and badass fighting men in the world by slapping a mock Army Rangers scroll on an $84 vest. [More]

Did Rue 21 Kick This Teen Out Of Store For Being Too Fat?

Did Rue 21 Kick This Teen Out Of Store For Being Too Fat?

There are gracious ways to tell someone that your store doesn’t sell clothes that fit them. Throwing a teenage customer out of the store by saying, “You’re too big to be in this store. I need you to leave” is not one of them. That’s what an Oregon teen claims happened to her at a Rue 21 store at her local mall. [More]

(david takes photos)

Would A Shopping Cart Mirror Showing Your Fat Face Make You Buy More Vegetables?

Could you look yourself in the eye, then load your grocery cart up with root beer and ice cream bars? No, literally. Stakeholders ranging from from physicians to grocers want Americans to buy (and eat) more fresh produce and less junk food, but how can they do that without a complete overhaul of the food system? With gentle nudges. [More]

(joelogon)

Loyalty Programs Add Fancy Levels For Big-Spending Customers

When you’re running a retail business, the customers who spend the most in your store are valuable and magical creatures. Loyalty cards let you return that love to your customers. Sort of. Some companies are taking rewards cards a step further, rewarding their most loyal customers (probably the ones with the most money) with special perks. [More]

(RetailByRyan95)

Dead Woman Found In Dillard’s Dressing Room, Store Closes Down

When a dead newborn turned up in the rest room of a Kohl’s department store in Kentucky last week, some shoppers were horrified to learn that they were browsing sales right near a possible homicide investigation. Maybe the management of other chains paid attention: a 57-year-old died in the dressing room of a North Carolina Dillard’s store, and management shut the whole store down. [More]

Man Steals Puppies By Shoving Them Down His Pants

Man Steals Puppies By Shoving Them Down His Pants

Puppies are small, cuddly, and pricey, so why not stuff some down your pants and shoplift them? That was the logic of a man in Florida, who stuffed a dachsund puppy and a pug puppy down his pants on two separate trips to an Orlando pet store. [More]

Is Back-To-School Creep A Thing?

Is Back-To-School Creep A Thing?

Holiday Creep is the retail phenomenon where retailers market holidays earlier and earlier in order to maximize their sales of Christmas trees or chocolate eggs. We all know Christmas Creep and Easter Creep, but is back-to-school creep a thing? How early is too early to start getting ready for the next school year? [More]

(taberandrew)

Nation’s Two Largest Funeral Companies To Merge, Form Bereavement Voltron

Back in 2008, Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral-service company, made a bid to acquire the second-largest company, Stewart Enterprises Inc. The smaller company rebuffed its suitor, but reconsidered after an offer this year. The two companies will now form one large mega-death-services-corporation just as baby boomers are about to consider planning–and more importantly, pre-paying for–their funerals. [More]