It’s June, So Time For The JCPenney Back-To-School Sale

It’s June, So Time For The JCPenney Back-To-School Sale

Depending on where in the country you live, school just got out for the summer, or is about to. Naturally, in the world of retail, this means that it’s time to put on some back-to-school sales. While a link to that special section on the JCPenney site made the rounds over the weekend, selling back-to-school stuff before school is even out is more popular than you might think. [More]

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Markdown At Lands’ End Means You Pay $20 More

Reader Beth was browsing the markdown rack at Lands’ End, in the space that the retailer now leases from Sears, when she noticed something strange. A sweater she wanted was on markdown, but somehow the price was going up. How did that work? [More]

Sears Reminds Customers: Only 199 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Sears Reminds Customers: Only 199 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Reader Andy sent us this e-mail he received from Sears as an example of Christmas Creep. He was confused that the retailer has already started its holiday marketing. A look through the Consumerist archives leads to a different perspective. It indicates that maybe Sears has figured out when the major gift-giving holidays actually are. [More]

(Rather-Be-Shopping)

More Mystical Secrets Of Retail Price Codes

Last fall, we posted a handy cheat sheet to price tag codes that can tell you whether an item is on its first or last markdown, or even whether it’s on clearance or just plain on sale. Want to learn some more codes? Of course you do! [More]

(BenBalter)

Willis Tower Reps Assure Tourists That Seemingly Cracked Glass Observation Ledge Is Totally Safe

Despite the appearance of cracked glass on a clear ledge oft frequented by tourists to Chicago’s Willis Tower (which will always remain the Sears Tower to many no matter what anyone says), officials for the building say no one is in any danger of plummeting to the ground by leaning, sitting or walking on it. [More]

Fill Out This Simple Survey, Get Actual Help From Sears

Fill Out This Simple Survey, Get Actual Help From Sears

Over the last nine years or so of Consumerist, we’ve chronicled the tragic decline of Sears, an American institution. This has happened under the leadership of manifesto-writing hedge fund manager/CEO/intra-company deathmatch impresario Eddie Lampert. Shoppers’ biggest complaint: profound dysfunction and incompetence in stores. A manager at Sears slipped Consumerist a bit of information that people locked in a customer service battle with Sears might find useful. [More]

Sears Circles Back Around To Idea Of Selling Sears Canada Stake

Sears Circles Back Around To Idea Of Selling Sears Canada Stake

Sears Holdings Corporation first started whispering that it might spin off or sell its stake in Sears Canada a few years ago, when the company first started publicly naming parts of itself that it could sell for cash. Since then, Hometown and Outlet stores are thriving as a spun-off company, so why not Sears Canada? [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Who Do Sears And JCPenney Closures Really Hurt? Malls

Back in 1959, Sears started the Homart Development Company. What did Homart develop? Malls! It built and ran malls across the country, malls that were home to Sears stores. Today, Sears is no longer in the mall business, and in many towns, Sears has left the mall as well. That’s terrible news for other mall tenants and for the mall business as a whole. [More]

Hancock Tower’s Tilting Window Escalates Chicago’s Freaky Skyscraper Window Arms Race

Hancock Tower’s Tilting Window Escalates Chicago’s Freaky Skyscraper Window Arms Race

After years of friendly coexistence as tall-ass Chicago buildings with top-floor viewing areas that attracted tourists looking to test their acrophobia, the Willis (nee Sears) Tower threw down the gauntlet at its crosstown rival the Hancock Tower (technically, the John Hancock Center) by adding “The Ledge” — transparent boxes that jut out several feet from the building’s Skydeck, giving the visitor a truly knee-weakening experience. So what could the Hancock folks do to out-thrill the Willis’s boxes in the sky? How about a window that actually tilts you out over the Windy City’s streets? [More]

Sears CEO On Company’s Troubles: “Sometimes You Have To Go Backwards To Go Forwards”

Sears CEO On Company’s Troubles: “Sometimes You Have To Go Backwards To Go Forwards”

The bad news for Sears? Stores will continue to close. But the good news, according to Chairman and CEO Eddie “Have You Read My Manifesto?” Lampert, is that just means Sears is living in the present, not the past. But “sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.” Okay, now we’re confused… [More]

Recalled Kenmore Washer Tears Family’s Clothes Apart, Sears Wouldn’t Replace It

Recalled Kenmore Washer Tears Family’s Clothes Apart, Sears Wouldn’t Replace It

$1,700 is a reasonable price for a nice Kenmore washer-dryer set that cleans and dries your family’s clothes. It is not a reasonable price for an automated Kenmore nightmare machine that rips your family’s clothing apart while washing them. Yet that was the ordeal of one family living near Sacramento, California whose washer still didn’t work after eight repairs. Eight. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Carbon Arc)

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]

Lands’ End Divorce From Sears Complete, But They’re Still Roommates

Lands’ End Divorce From Sears Complete, But They’re Still Roommates

After twelve years together, Sears and Lands’ End have officially split. They’ve been through a lot together: Sears bought the former sailing gear retailer in 2002, before the formation of the sprawling disaster that is Sears Holdings. For a while at least, absolutely nothing will change for consumers. [More]

SeaWorld Makes A Big Splash In Worst Company Competition Debut; AT&T, Citi Also Move On

SeaWorld Makes A Big Splash In Worst Company Competition Debut; AT&T, Citi Also Move On

In the nearly decade-long history of Worst Company In America, we’ve noticed that newcomers — especially those who make the bracket because they’re in the news a lot — either flame out in the early rounds (like Lululemon) or take the tournament by storm (like past winners EA and BP). This year’s out-of-nowhere surprise comes courtesy of the folks at SeaWorld, which swam to an easy win in its WCIA debut. [More]

Bank Of America, Monsanto, Verizon Move On To Next Round Of Worst Company Competition

Bank Of America, Monsanto, Verizon Move On To Next Round Of Worst Company Competition

After three days of Worst Company In America voting, nine big businesses lie battered and bloody on the sandpaper mat of the WCIA Dodecahedron of Doom. But we are not here to mourn the fallen, but to hurl rotting fruit at the victors who survive to fight another day. [More]

Toilet Paper Shrink Ray Hits Walmart Brand Rolls

Toilet Paper Shrink Ray Hits Walmart Brand Rolls

Our soft yet absorbent colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports have great things to say about Walmart’s house-brand toilet papers, but maybe that’s because horizontal width isn’t a factor in their scoring. Reader Andrew sent along these photos comparing his previous and current packages of TP from Wally World, and found that a barely perceptible size decrease adds up to 30 fewer square feet per package of 18 rolls. [More]

Lands’ End Will Officially Be Freed From Sears On April 4

Lands’ End Will Officially Be Freed From Sears On April 4

After 12 years in the Sears family fold, Lands’ End is heading out on its own in a spinoff set for April 4. From there on out, it’ll be a stand-alone, publicly-traded company, without the shadow of its struggling former parent company looming over all those fleece jackets and sensible sweaters. [More]

Here Are Your Worst Company Contenders For 2014 — Help Us Seed The Brackets!

Here Are Your Worst Company Contenders For 2014 — Help Us Seed The Brackets!

After sorting through a mountain of nomination e-mails, we’ve whittled down the field of competitors for this year’s Worst Company In America tournament to 40 bad businesses. Here’s your chance to have your say on how these players will square off in the bracket, and which bubble teams will get left out in the cold. [More]