8 Things We Learned About The End Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Jeffries Era

8 Things We Learned About The End Of Abercrombie & Fitch’s Jeffries Era

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek asks the question: can Abercrombie & Fitch be saved? Now that the retailer is losing sales, it has removed logos from its clothing, introduced the color black, and started selling some clothes above women’s size 10. (Mostly online, of course.) Is that enough to save the company, which for years was controlled by a CEO who saw himself, at age 70, as exactly like his 25-year-old ideal customers? [More]

(Scorpions and Centaurs)

Hallmark Planning Mini-Stores Inside JCPenney Locations

After a year of discussions and a pilot program in 15 stores, JCPenney and Hallmark are pleased to announced that they might be moving in together. Well, sort of. Hallmark mini-stores may join Sephora and Disney mini-stores inside hundreds of JCPenney locations across the country. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

JCPenney Revives Print Catalog Because People Use It To Shop Online

In general, your mailbox probably contains fewer catalogs than it used to. Retailer JCPenney killed off their dead-tree division back in 2010, choosing to follow American shoppers online. Or so they thought. The company is bringing back a catalog filled with housewares after learning that the print catalog actually led to more online sales. [More]

Yes, Those Are Real Cars Poking Out Of This Dumpster

Yes, Those Are Real Cars Poking Out Of This Dumpster

Car dealerships are always looking for the next great way to get potential customers to look in their direction and think about maybe buying a shiny new car. They employ balloons, air dancers, signs: anything that might catch the eye of someone driving by. One way to get some attention is to toss some cars in a dumpster. That’s what Pacific Nissan in San Diego did, and the promotion is working out for them. [More]

Organic Ground Beef Sold At Wegmans Stores Recalled Due To Plastic Fragments

Organic Ground Beef Sold At Wegmans Stores Recalled Due To Plastic Fragments

There are many things that are very delicious alongside ground beef when mashed into a hamburger patty or loafed into a meatloaf, but plastic shards are not one of those things. Customers of Northeastern grocery chain Wegmans have reported finding “small malleable plastic pieces” in their packages of organic ground beef. [More]

JCPenney Announces 40 Store Closures, But Holiday Sales Were Up

JCPenney Announces 40 Store Closures, But Holiday Sales Were Up

JCPenney is looking slightly less doomed than previously anticipated. This week, the department store chain announced its holiday season sales results, which were slightly up over the same period last year. There’s bad news, too, though: about 4% of the company’s stores will close this spring, a total of 40 stores in 19 states, with a total of about 2,250 jobs. [More]

(frankieleon)

Movie Studios: Downloads Are Up, DVD Sales Are Down

An entertainment industry group says that Americans are spending slightly less on watching moving pictures in our living rooms overall, but part of that is a change in how we buy and consume media, and not necessarily that we’re watching fewer movies and TV programs. In news that will surprise no one, spending on DVDs and DVD rentals has declined significantly, and spending on downloads, streaming service subscriptions, and digital rentals has increased. [More]

Unlocked iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Now Officially Available In The U.S.

Unlocked iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Now Officially Available In The U.S.

Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been on the market since September, but one thing that hasn’t been available for customers in the United States was an unlocked, carrier-free phone. People who want Apple’s newest phone and phablet unlocked and unsubsidized can now order it that way directly. Technically, this was available on launch day: Apple just didn’t spell it out. [More]

Bottom Dollar Food To Close Stores, Sell Chain To Aldi

Bottom Dollar Food To Close Stores, Sell Chain To Aldi

A fantastic, descriptive name wasn’t enough to save Bottom Dollar Food, a discount grocery chain with stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The company announced that it will close all of its stores on January 15th. However, fans of discount food may not need to despair: there’s a deal in progress to sell all of the locations and store leases to a competing discount grocery chain, Aldi. [More]

Amazon’s Sales By Third-Party Sellers Hit 2 Billion Items, 40% Of Total

Amazon’s Sales By Third-Party Sellers Hit 2 Billion Items, 40% Of Total

40% of the items sold on Amazon.com in 2014 weren’t sold by Amazon. Sure, Amazon collected fees, a percentage of payments, and storage fees for items stored in and shipped from Amazon warehouses. However, Amazon didn’t own the actual stuff, serving as a sales platform instead of a retailer for 2 billion items sold on the site. [More]

Free Shipping Is Expensive For Retailers, Bad For Profits

Free Shipping Is Expensive For Retailers, Bad For Profits

Customers love free shipping, but retailers do not. Well, that’s not quite true: retailers love the sales that the availability of free shipping drives, but it isn’t very good for their profit margins. While customers have become used to free shipping and view it as the default for shopping online, retailers still haven’t been able to figure out how to provide free shipping without losing a lot of money. [More]

(iDiapo)

iPhone Users Sue Claiming False Advertising, Cloud Storage Hawking

Two iPhone owners who live in Florida have filed a class action suit against Apple, claiming that the company advertises devices as having more storage capacity than they really do, of loading creating an operating system download that requires excessive space when first downloaded, and pushing paid cloud-storage services on customers who fill up the smaller-than-advertised hard drives on their phones. [More]

Play-Doh Will Replace Phallic Toy Frosting Extruders On Request

Play-Doh Will Replace Phallic Toy Frosting Extruders On Request

Does your child have one of the Play-Doh Cake Mountain playsets, and you want the weirdly phallic frosting extruder gone because you can’t stop laughing every time your kid picks it up? Good news for you: Hasbro has offered to exchange the syringe for the more boring yellow version on request in case the part offends or amuses you too much. [More]

Freaks And Misfits: Dispatches From Santa’s Amazon Warehouse

Freaks And Misfits: Dispatches From Santa’s Amazon Warehouse

Santa is not real, and neither are his elves. If you’re old enough to be on the Internet unsupervised, you probably already knew that. However, there are real-life people who fill in for the toy-manufacturing elves, the North Pole, and the flying reindeer. One part of that supply chain is at the Amazon warehouses where our stuff resides. Working there is not fun or easy. [More]

Amazon Claims Customers Have Saved $2 Billion In Imaginary Shipping Fees

Amazon Claims Customers Have Saved $2 Billion In Imaginary Shipping Fees

Amazon wants the world to know that they’ve been working their robot shipping army hard this holiday season to deliver our purchases. This week, Amazon announced that they have saved their customers $2 billion in shipping fees through their Prime two-day shipping program and free shipping for orders over $35. That’s a nice caclulation and all, but it’s still largely imaginary savings. [More]

(WGN)

Mall ‘Disturbance’ Was Someone Banging On A Pot, Not Gunshots

On Saturday night, there was a massive kerfuffle at a very crowded mall near Chicago. Police have pieced together that early in the evening, two people began fighting, were separated, and then began fighting again. From somewhere in the mall came three loud bangs, which people in the crowd assumed were gunshots. They were not: the noise has been variously described as someone dropping a lid or banging on a pot in the food court. [More]

LinkWallet Doesn’t Ship Wallets, Promises Refunds By December 2015

LinkWallet Doesn’t Ship Wallets, Promises Refunds By December 2015

Back in early September, Consumerist featured the LinkWallet, an ultra-thin, smartphone-connected wallets funded through Kickstarter that caught backers’ imaginations and $59,000 of their money. There were several similar wallets available around then, but what distinguished the LinkWallet was the creators’ apparent inability to ship wallets. LinkWallet had assured everyone that the wallets would ship by the end of 2014: how’s that going? [More]

Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

Retailers Extend Hours, Enable Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

If you celebrate Christmas, yet aren’t done with your shopping yet, don’t feel bad: the nation’s retailers are here to help you spend your money as the business days count down to the holiday. Some department and big-box stores are open around the clock, and online retailers will help you avoid human interaction while using express shipping to order gifts. [More]