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.”
Hey, JCPenney, an asterisk isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. You can’t just say anything you want and then asterisk it away into meaninglessness. Here, we’ve fixed it for you.
Regional jeweler Fortunoff has thrown in the towel and filed for bankruptcy today. The retailer cited terrible holiday sales, a “severe liquidity crisis” in January, and the cost of expanding its jewelry line into Lord & Taylor stores as reasons. Fortunoff was brought out of an earlier bankruptcy about a year ago by a private equity firm, but it didn’t take.
This is rumor only, folks, but a tipster tells us that JC Penney plans on closing 11 stores this year, and that they’re freezing salaries on all employees. The retailer isn’t doing as badly as some of its competitors—it has no debt maturing in 2009, for example, and plans to have $2 billion in cash on hand at the end of this month—but considering CEO Mike Ullman has said he’s planning business conservatively for 2009, it wouldn’t be that surprising if it turns out to be true.
Americans face a tough choice Tuesday morning: watch Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, or storm department stores to take advantage of a first-come, first-serve cosmetics giveaway worth $175 million.
Looks like it’s time for Macy’s annual closing of the stores! This time it’s 11 underperforming locations that will be shuttered, and Macy’s says clearance sales will begin at those stores next week. Here’s a list of the stores that will be saying goodbye.
A Maryland woman bought some jewelry on sale at the Kohl’s in Westminster, then discovered cheaper prices under the price tags.
Pam had a Bloomingdale’s gift card that went unused for a couple of years, and when she tried to spend it last weekend, she was told it had expired. Pam found a way to get the balance restored fairly quickly, though. If you’ve got a card from before February 2008, try Pam’s advice below.
Sweatshop In Queens Produced Clothes For Macy's, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria's Secret
New York state labor officials are bringing one of their largest cases ever against Jin Shun, a clothing factory in Queens, New York that employed Chinese immigrants. Inspectors say the company
- cheated its workers out of more than $5 million in pay;
- instructed workers to lie to state inspectors;
- required 6 and 7-day workweeks, sometimes for up to 120 days at a time;
- didn’t pay overtime or minimum wage;
- kept two sets of timecards to fake-out inspectors.
Macy’s says they’re “very concerned” about the case and are investigating it, the Gap says they’re cooperating with authorities, and Victoria’s Secret says they have a “zero tolerance policy” for factories that are unwilling to work with them to achieve compliance—all of which makes us wonder whether any of these companies ever investigated the factory personally. (It’s not like it was in some remote part of China.)
After a successful pilot program, Macy’s is putting fancy Japanese-style vending machines in 400 of its stores. They’ll sell things like iPods and cameras. Looks like Macy’s will have to add another list of things excluded from its not-very-valuable coupons. [Reuters]
The American Customer Satisfaction Index has released its latest scores of retail businesses, so we thought we’d take a look at the department store rankings by constructing a handy graph. When it comes to customer satisfaction, apparently Dollar General is doing something right—and Wal-Mart, as usual, is doing lots of things wrong.
Macy’s Inc. plans to eliminate the former Marshall Field’s headquarters in Minneapolis and cut more than 2,000 jobs as part of a move to consolidate regional offices and boost sales and cut costs.
Well now you’ve done it, shoppers of America: your refusal to spend enough money at Macy’s is forcing the department store chain to shutter nine “underperforming stores in Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas,” reports Reuters. Seriously, what does it take to get you to buy stuff from them? They gave out coupons!
Department store Santas sent out by a staffing agency in Australia have been instructed to say “Ha ha ha” instead of “Ho ho ho” because “Ho” is demeaning to women. A 70-year-old Santa claims he was fired for sticking with the traditional “whore” Christmas verbiage; the department store says it was because of the man’s attitude. [Reuters]
The New York Times has an article that attempts to diagnose what’s wrong with Sears, and it mainly focuses on their (ill-advised?) cost cutting strategy.
Sears’ earnings are down 99% and there’s really no denying that something is going wrong with the retailer. Same store sales, the most important indicator of the health of a store, fell 4.2 percent in the third quarter.
Have you ever walked through a department store and been assaulted by fragrance pushers, poofing their scents into your face and asking you to try their fine line of products? It may surprise you to learn that not all of the perfume poofers work for the store, some actually work directly for the manufacturer. Their job is to appear to be be a normal store employee, while steering you towards the scents sold by their real employer.