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.”

This JCPenney Coupon Doesn't Understand The Term "No Exclusions"

This JCPenney Coupon Doesn't Understand The Term "No Exclusions"

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.

Fortunoff Files For Bankruptcy (Again)

Fortunoff Files For Bankruptcy (Again)

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.

Is JC Penney Going To Close Some Of Its Stores?

Is JC Penney Going To Close Some Of Its Stores?

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.

Mark Your Calendars: Massive Cosmetics Giveaway Set For Inauguration Day

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.

Macy's Closing 11 Stores

Macy's Closing 11 Stores

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.

Kohl's Marks Up Jewelry, Then Discounts It

Kohl's Marks Up Jewelry, Then Discounts It

A Maryland woman bought some jewelry on sale at the Kohl’s in Westminster, then discovered cheaper prices under the price tags.

Get Your Expired Bloomingdale's Gift Card Balance Restored

Get Your Expired Bloomingdale's Gift Card Balance Restored

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.