(Montgomery County Planning Commission)

Fewer Middle-Class Consumers Means Fewer Midrange Mall Anchors

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, there was a deeply symbolic changeover at the King of Prussia mall in the suburbs of Philadelphia. What used to be a large Sears department store has assumed its final form: it’s part Dick’s Sporting Goods store and part Primark, a fast fashion retailer out of Ireland. That’s just one mall that demonstrates a trend: the institution of the anchor store is dying out in malls. [More]

Kmart Coupon Excludes Almost Everything Kmart Sells

Kmart Coupon Excludes Almost Everything Kmart Sells

Coupon exclusions are a delicate balance. When you exclude too few things, customers take advantage of the loopholes, like when Best Buy e-mailed a $50 off $100 purchase gift card and forgot to exclude gift cards. If you exclude too many things, customers will probably not bother to use the coupon at all, since they can’t tell what they can use it for. [More]

(Patti LaBelle on Facebook)

Walmart And Patti LaBelle Hope To Continue Dessert Magic With Two New Cakes

This holiday season, Walmart tried something new to move more baked goods: they created a celebrity-branded pie. The retailer, which moves a lot of groceries, teamed up with famed singer Patti Labelle to mass-produce pies loosely based on her own recipe. That product was extremely successful, and now two new products are hitting Walmart’s store shelves: a pound cake and a caramel cake. [More]

(Dan Domme)

If You’ve Received The Gift Of New Gadgets, Recycle The Old Ones Or Pass Them On

Many of you are now enjoying new gadgets, whether it’s from a winter holiday present or post-holiday clearance sale self-gifting. If your new item replaced an old one, don’t throw the old one in a drawer: consider recycling it or passing it on to an organization that re-uses technology. Yep, there really is someone out there interested in your old game console and conference swag flash drives. [More]

Times Square Toys’R’Us Is Full Of Empty Shelves And Sadness

Times Square Toys’R’Us Is Full Of Empty Shelves And Sadness

Earlier this year, we learned that the huge flagship Toys”R”Us store in New York City’s Times Square would be closing after the toy-centric holiday of Christmas. Today, the store still stands, full of empty shelves and sadness. Also, there’s still a big Star Wars display. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Still Playing Game That Shut Down In July 2014

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Still Playing Game That Shut Down In July 2014

Eventually, all things end, and that includes multiplayer online games. The game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes shut down in July of 2014, but Walmart is trying to keep its legacy alive by continuing to sell useless game discs in the discount bin for fifteen bucks. [More]

14 More Tiny Urban Target Stores Will Open In 2016-2017

14 More Tiny Urban Target Stores Will Open In 2016-2017

Yes, Target is a chain of big-box stores, but the company sees its future in considerably smaller boxes. Instead of suburban stores of more than 100,000 square feet in the suburbs, all but one of the stores that Target has planned in 2016 and 2017 are small-format stores in urban areas across the country. [More]

Fitbit Charge Users Report Worse Battery Life After Firmware Upgrade

Fitbit Charge Users Report Worse Battery Life After Firmware Upgrade

Usually, a firmware update makes a gadget better, not worse. That’s not what users of the Fitbit Charge HR are experiencing after the device’s most recent firmware update, though. They report that their devices will only stay charged for anywhere between three days and a few hours, when the battery lasted longer before the update. [More]

(guynamedjames)

Bad Weather And High Package Volume Meant Late Deliveries For FedEx

Americans ordered what FedEx is calling an unprecedented amount of merchandise online this holiday season, especially at the last minute. They’re blaming that growing habit and weather problems for the delay of some packages, which resulted in some employees working as real-life Santas on Christmas Day to clear the backlog and make sure that as many packages as possible reached their destination by the holiday. [More]

9-Year-Old Opens PS4 Box On Christmas Morning, Finds Block Of Wood

9-Year-Old Opens PS4 Box On Christmas Morning, Finds Block Of Wood

Christmas morning is a time for family togetherness, enjoying the delighted faces of children, and surprising loved ones with thoughtful gifts. Unfortunately, wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree until the recipient opens the box means risking a retail hazard: boxes of expensive electronics that contain notepads, bricks, picture frames, or mirrors. This is disturbingly common, and happened to a family in Massachusetts this Christmas. [More]

Kmart Loses Two Customers’ Layaway Orders, Shrugs

Kmart Loses Two Customers’ Layaway Orders, Shrugs

You might remember Kmart’s layaway fiasco of last year, when the company canceled layaway contracts out from under customers the week before Christmas, giving an outrageously long timeline for when those customers could expect refunds. A repeat of that disaster would be disastrous for Kmart’s layaway business, but it looks like something similar only happened on a micro-scale this year, affecting a few customers in North Carolina. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Good News: Malls Where Rich People Shop Aren’t Dead

We’ve shared a lot of stories about dead and dying malls, and we wouldn’t blame you if you thought that the American mall is an endangered creature. Only it isn’t: high-end malls are doing just great. It’s malls in middle-class communities geared to middle-income customers that are suffering from high vacancy rates and failing tenants. [More]

(Jenna M)

PetSmart Creates Adorable Holiday To Promote In-Store Pickup

Retailers love the idea of customers picking their online orders up in a local store, but shoppers are starting to find it inconvenient. One store has an idea to promote the practice: PetSmart is offering a special discount on online orders that are picked up in a store tomorrow, a day when it’s too late to ship gifts purchased online. The name, “National Fetch it Day,” is unlikely to catch on with other retailers, though. [More]

Jet.com Doesn’t Want To Promise Christmas Delivery, Warns Gift-Shoppers

Jet.com Doesn’t Want To Promise Christmas Delivery, Warns Gift-Shoppers

The new site Jet was meant to be the e-commerce version of Costco, charging users a $50 annual fee (which they later dropped) in exchange for excellent discounts on a wide variety of merchandise. This is Jet’s first holiday season, and the good news is they have a lot of business. Unfortunately, that means that they can no longer guarantee delivery by Christmas. [More]

Rent The Runway’s ‘Exclusive’ Dresses Turn Up Much Cheaper In Retail Stores

Rent The Runway’s ‘Exclusive’ Dresses Turn Up Much Cheaper In Retail Stores

Rent the Runway, a company that lets customers rent pricey outfits for special events, now rents out their own brands alongside designer clothes and accessories. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with promoting those brands as if they’re from noted designers, assigning them made-up retail values. Even worse: some of those “exclusive” items can be found on department store websites, where you can buy them for less than it would cost to rent them. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Retailers Struggling With In-Store Pickup This Holiday Season

Ordering an item online and picking it up at the local outlet of a chain retailer is a great advance in e-commerce, but it seems more convenient than it is. Even when everything is working smoothly, it doesn’t actually save shoppers any time. The service hasn’t been operating smoothly at many retailers this holiday season, though: is it doomed to end up in the trash bin of business ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time? [More]

39% Of All U.S. Money Spent At Online Stores Goes To Amazon

39% Of All U.S. Money Spent At Online Stores Goes To Amazon

If you’ve placed an online order for a gift or for a self-gift this holiday season, it most likely came from Amazon. How likely is it? According to statistics released this week, 39.3% of all money spent by Americans shopping online is spent at Amazon, which is more than the next 20 biggest sellers in e-commerce combined. [More]

Snapfish Promises To Upgrade Some Christmas Card Orders, Customers Not Placated

Snapfish Promises To Upgrade Some Christmas Card Orders, Customers Not Placated

In response to customers who are angry that they haven’t yet received their orders for photo Christmas cards and other time-sensitive items, photo-printing company Snapfish announced that they’ll be sending out some orders––specifically, photo cards printed on stationery paper–– with expedited shipping. Everyone else? You’ll have to wait in the customer service chat queue to be hung up on. [More]