Shrink Ray Hits JCPenney Clothing Now, Too?

Shrink Ray Hits JCPenney Clothing Now, Too?

Kyle just wrote to us that the 36″ sleeve on a Large Tall sweatshirt from JCPenney has been reduced to 35″. It’s not just a manufacturing accident, because the new length is printed in the retailer’s sizing charts. But Kyle says for years he’s had no problem with JCPenney shirts, and that this all started happening within the past year or so. [More]

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press. [More]

Walmart Admits "We're Not a Dept. Store," When It Comes To Fashion

Walmart Admits "We're Not a Dept. Store," When It Comes To Fashion

While Walmart may currently be the most popular shopping destination in the country, it still hasn’t shaken the stigma among many clothing customers of being a place you go for cheap sweats, underwear and tee shirts. And after years of trying to remove that taint, the retail behemoth has thrown up its hands and admitted defeat. [More]

86-Year-Old Receives Surprise $19k Bill From Macy's

86-Year-Old Receives Surprise $19k Bill From Macy's

Lorene Pounds is 86 years old and says she hasn’t shopped at Macy’s in years. That’s partly why she was surprised when Macy’s called her up and told her she was delinquent on her credit card account. The other reason she was surprised was they said she owed $19,791. [More]

Kohl's Replaced The Shoelaces My Daughter Snipped

Kohl's Replaced The Shoelaces My Daughter Snipped

Many things can happen when you give your kids scissors, none of them good. Greg learned the lesson when his daughter severed the special, glittery laces on her new shoes. Being a good dad, he headed to Kohl’s hoping to buy replacements, which the store doesn’t sell. Luckily an employee grabbed a display shoe, pulled out the lace and sent Greg on his way to his relieved daughter. [More]

Shopper Successfully Haggles Macy's Clerk

Shopper Successfully Haggles Macy's Clerk

You never know when an opportunity to haggle might present itself when you’re out shopping, as our reader Marty demonstrates. He was able to get a 10% discount on a blazer at Macy’s just by asking the clerk at the register. [More]

Prison Inmate Charged With Running Major Department Store Credit Card Scam

Prison Inmate Charged With Running Major Department Store Credit Card Scam

Seven Ohio men between the ages of 27 and 50 were arrested last week and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, after an investigation found evidence that they were gaining access to strangers’ store-issued credit cards to buy and resale merchandise. The group’s leader, who was also charged, is a 33-year-old inmate at Fort Dix, NJ. Investigators think he initially met one of the Ohio men in prison. [More]

Watch Out, The J.C. Penney Security Guard Has A Gun!

Watch Out, The J.C. Penney Security Guard Has A Gun!

If security guards start carrying guns at department stores, I’m going to stop referring to them as rent-a-cops. Not because they’ve suddenly jumped up on my respect-o-meter, but because they might open fire. At a mall in Virginia last Sunday, a J.C. Penney security guard pursued a shoplifter into the mall parking lot and fired a gun into the air. The shoplifter was arrested, and the police confiscated the guard’s gun. The store won’t say whether it was owned by the guard or issued by management. [More]

Macy's Adds Monthly $2 'Educational Interest' Charge To My
Credit Card Bill

Macy's Adds Monthly $2 'Educational Interest' Charge To My Credit Card Bill

An anonymous reader says Macy’s is charging him a pretend $2 interest on his credit card bill and calling it “educational interest.” He says the charge is optional, and you don’t have to pay it if you subtract the amount from your total balance. If you do pay the “educational interest,” Macy’s credits your account. [More]

Madonna Planning Clothing Line With Macy's

Madonna Planning Clothing Line With Macy's

Women’s Wear Daily says that Madonna is in talks with Macy’s to launch an exclusive women’s collection that would include apparel, accessories, intimates, and footwear. “Label names under serious consideration for the product lines include Material Girl for the apparel and Truth or Dare for the lingerie and underwear.” I’m crossing my fingers there’s a “Papa Don’t Preach” maternity line in the works as well. [More]

Macy's To Open Bloomingdale's Outlet Stores This Summer

Macy's To Open Bloomingdale's Outlet Stores This Summer

Macy’s wants in on the discount department store market, so starting this summer the company will open four outlet stores under the Bloomingdale’s brand in New Jersey, Florida, and Virginia, reports the Seattle Times. Apparently the real Bloomingdale’s sales haven’t been stellar in this economy, so Macy’s is hoping that a discount offshoot will bring in more budget-conscious shoppers. [More]

Panorama Of Macy's 34th St. Shopping Throng

Panorama Of Macy's 34th St. Shopping Throng

The crush of consumers packing the department store’s eight-story shopping emporium on 34th street in Manhattan would seem to belie the notion that this will be a dark Christmas for retailers. However, the red crossouts on the price tags reveal two, three rounds of price-slashing. While the crowd is packed, their shopping bags are not. Passing underneath arches of holiday bowers sported animated signs with sparkle dust writing out “Believe,” they are gleaners, browsing for bargains, and choosing but a few of them. I took a panorama shot. (2000 pixel version) [More]

Why Can't Macy's Reverse This Charge On Their Customer's Debit Card?

Why Can't Macy's Reverse This Charge On Their Customer's Debit Card?

Amanda has been having a hard time getting Macy’s to reverse an incorrect charge on her credit card–a charge that was canceled less than five minutes after it was made last week. Her story includes almost all of the things that can go wrong with customer support, including random transfers, rude employees, and broken promises. If she’d just been made to hold for 45 minutes before one of the disconnections, she’d have collected the set! [More]

Should Retailers Verify Customer Income Before Extending Credit?

Should Retailers Verify Customer Income Before Extending Credit?

One provision of the CARD Act requires credit issuers to verify income and debt load before issuing new credit, and the Federal Reserve is now looking at how to enforce that. That’s scaring retailers, who have come to enjoy the benefits of pushing “instant credit” offers at the register. [More]

Lord & Taylor Bans Items Containing Canine Fur

Lord & Taylor Bans Items Containing Canine Fur

Poor raccoon dogs. For a long time, they’ve suffered a severe identity crisis at the hands of the fashion industry. Their fur has been mislabeled as “raccoon” fur on clothing labels, and even more insulting, as faux fur by some labels. That’s an insult not just to the canines, but to conscientious shoppers who think they’re buying items with fake fur trim. Another retailer, Lord & Taylor, has joined J.C. Penney in promising to stop selling products that contain the critters, but mislabeling runs rampant. [More]

Buy A Mattress, Get A Free Video Camera

Buy A Mattress, Get A Free Video Camera

A few weeks ago, Macy’s ran this somewhat mystifying promotion. Simple enough: Buy a mattress, get a free video camera via mail-in rebate.

It’s interesting to see a department store modern enough to openly market to aspiring amateur porn stars.

JCPenney Tries Out Mobile Coupons In Houston Stores

JCPenney Tries Out Mobile Coupons In Houston Stores

If you live in the Houston area, you can now use your mobile phone to redeem coupons for JCPenney through a trial-partnership with Cellfire. You have to register with Cellfire in order to receive the promos via SMS or email, and if you register today you’ll receive a mysterious “$10 in$tant gift” [sic].

Anna Wintour Doesn't Understand Why Price Fixing Has To Be Illegal

Anna Wintour Doesn't Understand Why Price Fixing Has To Be Illegal

The editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, proposed a novel solution to the problems that plague clothing retailers at a recent industry meeting. And by “novel” we mean “she’s completely clueless.”