(Pablo Romeo)

Kenya Is Now The World’s 4th Largest Flower Grower

If you give or receive any flowers this Valentine’s Day, they were most likely imported from somewhere with a much warmer climate and lower wages than the United States. On Valentine’s Day, when tradition demands that massive amounts of roses be ready all at once, many of the flowers delivered or aavailable for sale may have come from Kenya, which has a great climate for delivering roses in mid-February, and has less demand from its recent biggest customers. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(ken fager)

Here are nine of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Ben Roffelsen Photography)

US Foods Plans Public Stock Offering After Failed Merger With Sysco

Back in 2013, food service giant Sysco proposed a purchase of another foodservice giant, US Foods. After a lengthy engagement, Sysco ultimately dropped the attempted merger, which the Federal Trade Commission wasn’t keen on. Instead of being acquired by a rival, now US Foods wants to hold an initial public offering of its stock to raise more money. [More]

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

Companies Move Back To Cities, Abandon Suburban Office Parks

How many likely tenants are there for a concrete suburban office complex of 470,000 square feet? The owners of office complexes are having similar problems to the owners of malls, but for different reasons. As shoppers have moved either to ritzier malls or to shipping online, offices have moved back into cities. Both changes leave behind massive buildings or complexes that nobody wants. [More]

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Woman Who Stuffed Electronics Inside Her Skirt Returns To Same RadioShack Store, Does It Again

Last spring, a woman wearing a full-skirted dress walked into a RadioShack store in Florida and used the garment to conceal electronics with a retail value of more than $1,100. That was no one-time crime of opportunity, it turns out: people who appear to be the same woman and her male companion were spotted on camera again at the same store, though the items this time were lower value. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Mark Clifton)

Sears Hometown Opens Stores Within Other Stores

Sears and JCPenney are two department stores with more space than they need and a need to get more people in the door. They’ve started opening stores within stores, or subdividing their space and leasing part of it to other retailers. Now a member of the Sears family that has gone off on its own is trying this strategy to get a retail foothold: Sears Hometown is opening a store in an Ace Hardware. [More]

(Ann Fisher)

1/3 Of American Adults Use Online Ad-Blockers, Few Publishers Try To Stop Them

If you’re one of the approximately 1/3 of American Internet users who employ an ad-blocker in your web browser, we don’t mind, because Consumerist doesn’t accept advertising. Other websites that do depend on ads for their income definitely do mind that customers are using ad-blockers, but they don’t really do anything to stop users. Why is that? [More]

(Joachim Rayos)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are six of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

San Francisco Wants High-Rise Verizon And Visa Ads To Come Down Before Super Bowl

San Francisco Wants High-Rise Verizon And Visa Ads To Come Down Before Super Bowl

With visitors coming to town for a high-profile sporting event next week, two high-rise buildings in San Francisco sold exterior ad space to Verizon and to Visa. There’s a problem, though: the ads, which are 15 and seven stories high respectively, are illegal, and the city wants them to come down before the Super Bowl. [More]

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Ensures That Your Tea Arrives Safely

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Ensures That Your Tea Arrives Safely

Tea is a very important and delicious beverage. Amazon takes your tea very seriously. How seriously do they take it? The Everything Store’s stupid shipping gang took Indira’s tin of teabags and packed it carefully in a box that would fit at least a dozen more tins. [More]

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

The companies operating the two largest ride-hailing fleets, Uber and Lyft, both have lawsuits against them in California where drivers seek “employee” status. The lawsuit against Lyft has been settled, but only one part of it: the company has agreed not to terminate drivers without giving them a reason why, but will not grant them minimum wage, overtime pay, vehicle expense reimbursement, or any other benefits that they would get as employees. [More]

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Earlier this month, a lawsuit from several Fitbit tracking watch owners made the news. In it, three users claimed that the heart rate monitors are inaccurate, and that customers had been misled. Yet our pulse-monitoring colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports had just tested the same products, and didn’t notice any problems with their heart rate monitoring ability. Had they missed something? They decided to check. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Carbon Arc)

Here are ten of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

A company based in Wales showed up on Kickstarter with what looked like a working prototype of a really impressive consumer drone small enough to land on a saucer. Yet the promised drones never shipped. What happened? Kickstarter decided to find out, taking an unusual tactic: the company hired a local investigative reporter to, well, investigate. This week, the report came out. [More]

Nest Thermostats Were Leaking ZIP Codes Over WiFi

Nest Thermostats Were Leaking ZIP Codes Over WiFi

The Nest thermostat is a popular smart device that supposedly helps users to save money on heating and cooling, and also have a cool-looking round electronic device on their walls. Yet two researchers at Princeton University pointed out a problem that should terrify most Nest users: their thermostats were broadcasting their location, unencrypted, over WiFi. [More]

Ad Watchdog Points Out That Skech-Air Shoes Do Not Let Kids Bounce Like Superhumans

Ad Watchdog Points Out That Skech-Air Shoes Do Not Let Kids Bounce Like Superhumans

When you’re a child with a very active imagination, the hyperbole of advertising can be very confusing. That’s why some consumers reported a recent ad for shoe brand Skechers to the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ self-regulation mechanism for the advertising industry. The ad is misleading, making the shoes look way more fun than they are. [More]

Chick-Fil-A Replaces Coleslaw With Kale-Broccolini Salad On Menu

Chick-Fil-A Replaces Coleslaw With Kale-Broccolini Salad On Menu

Normally, when using the words “Chick-Fil-A” and “kale” in a sentence, we would be referring to the longtime trademark dispute between the chicken restaurant and the maker of t-shirts telling the public to “eat more kale.” The dispute was resolved in the kale-pushing artist’s favor, and now Chick-Fil-A is helping customers to follow their advice, while also following trends in the fast food industry by serving up kale side salads. [More]