A sign posted about the wifi tracking system at a Nordstrom in Dallas. (via CBS 11)

Nordstrom Now Using Your Smartphone To Track Your Shopping Behavior

Earlier this year we told you about the many hi-tech ways in which retailers are tracking customers’ movements and purchases. Now high-end department store Nordstrom admits that it’s using a smartphone tracking system to keep an eye on shoppers’ behavior. [More]

(tjean314)

Mall Puts Up Its Own Parking Meters Of ‘Questionable Legality’, Issues Tickets

A shopping center in Yonkers, N.Y. (yep, Consumerist’s global headquarters) didn’t think that it was doing anything wrong when it set up its own parking meters along the private streets on its property. Customers fed them. You park next to a meter, you feed it, right? Park Ridge has collected money and even issued its own parking tickets since the spring of 2011. The problem, of course, is that the city of Yonkers is the only entity with the authority to issue parking tickets and run meters. According to city officials, the shopping center’s developer kept collecting meter money and ticketing non-payers even after the City Council asked them to stop. [More]

(bluwmongoose)

As Offline Retail Dies, Commercial Real Estate Apocalypse Looms

As we do more and more of our shopping while sitting on our couches in our pajamas with an Ultrabook, we’re destroying a glorious American institution: the mall. Realspace retailers large and small alike have gone bankrupt and shut down or scaled back: a process that the recession only sped up. The best case scenario? Those former malls might become community colleges or gain some condos. What’s more likely? Rotting husks of shopping centers dotting our cityscapes, dragging down property values and making everyone sad. [More]

(The Telegraph)

Nothing Quite Ruins A Shopping Experience Like A Tank Full Of Sharks Suddenly Shattering

Sometimes the mall can feel like a shark tank, with shoppers circling each other and sniffing out deals that retailers throw out like so much chum. But visitors at a Shanghai shopping center had a bit of a more unfortunate and very real experience with sea life when an aquarium full of sharks, turtles and fish shattered suddenly. [More]

(epicharmus)

‘It Really Is A Business’: Why Taking Your Own Santa Visit Pictures Makes You A Cheap Jerk

Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets. [More]

(Jason McHuff)

Man With Semiautomatic Rifle Kills 2 And Injures 6 At Mall, Then Kills Himself

On Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 PM, a man opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle at the Clackamas Town Center mall in Portland, Oregon. According to police, wo people were killed and as many as six injured, at least one of whom is hospitalized and in serious condition. Early reports indicated that the gunman may have been wearing body armor and/or camouflage, and was wearing the hockey mask associated with Jason in the Friday the 13th films. After firing up to 60 rounds, he killed himself. No law enforcement officers fired any shots inside the mall. [More]

(YouTube)

Mall Santas Beware: Combining Beards With Rappelling Probably Won’t End Well

While Santa Claus ain’t Santa Claus without that flowing white beard, that snowy expanse isn’t the best-suited facial hair for rappelling from a mall ceiling. A mall Santa in England found that out the tangled up way when he attempted to lower himself down a rope to cheering crowds, only to get stuck when his beard snagged on the rope. Chimneys are probably way easier to maneuver. Ho ho ho. [More]

(Reddit)

The Most Delicious Christmas Creep Backlash You’ll Ever See

From the enchanted holiday village that is Reddit, here’s a delicious bit of Christmas Creep backlash. No, not delicious in the sense that justice can be delicious, but delicious in the sense that this humble plea to celebrate one holiday at a time is rendered in frosting and chocolate chip cookie bars. [More]

Do You Have Questions For A Retail Store Manager?

Do You Have Questions For A Retail Store Manager?

Do you have questions about how the business of retail works from the other side of the register? Are you curious about store credit cards, loyalty cards, confusing signage, women’s clothing sizes, loss prevention, sales goals, the all-consuming power of Corporate, or other things that form the basis of most Consumerist complaints? The Consumerist’s Mystery Manager is here to answer your questions. [More]

How Strict Should Stores Be About Employees-Only Bathrooms?

How Strict Should Stores Be About Employees-Only Bathrooms?

While retail stores all need someplace for employees to wash up and occasionally relieve themselves, many stores have a “staff only” policy for access to the toilet. But are there situations where the store staffers should make an exception in the name of saving a customer from embarrassment? [More]

Mall Now Requires Teens Shop With Parents After 6:00 P.M.

Mall Now Requires Teens Shop With Parents After 6:00 P.M.

For teens at the NorthPark Center mall in Dallas, there’s no more whiling away the hours loitering at the food court with their school chums. If kids under the age of 18 want to hang at the mall after 6:00 p.m., they now have to do it with parents in tow. [More]

Are Women Going To Malls To Shop And Socialize While Men Stay Online?

Are Women Going To Malls To Shop And Socialize While Men Stay Online?

As online shopping grows in popularity, those with an eye on the industry are trying to figure out if brick-and-mortar stores will eventually go away forever. One opinion posited by a writer — women love the social aspect of shopping, and they’ll be the ones to save malls. [More]

Malls Cancel Plans To Track Shoppers' Movements Via Cellphone

Malls Cancel Plans To Track Shoppers' Movements Via Cellphone

Remember how two malls annoyed more than a few people by announcing that they would be tracking shoppers’ movements via their cellphone signals? Yeah, well that’s no longer happening — at least for now. [More]

Malls To Track Shoppers' Movements Via Cellphone Signals This Holiday Season

Malls To Track Shoppers' Movements Via Cellphone Signals This Holiday Season

Because you as a shopper are nothing but a lab rat to be tracked, measured, quantified and dissected so that retailers can market to you in a more efficient manner, at least two malls will be using shoppers’ cellphone signals to map out their routes from Sbarro to the Spencer Gifts to Chess King (okay okay… so I haven’t been to the mall in a while). [More]

Shopping Helps Keep Old People Alive Longer: Study

Shopping Helps Keep Old People Alive Longer: Study

Regular shopping trips could actually extend the lives of older people, a new study finds. Those who shopped every day were 27% not as apt to die within 10 years as people who shopped only once a week. [More]

Around One Out Of Every 10 Mall Stores Now Vacant

Around One Out Of Every 10 Mall Stores Now Vacant

The malls of America have seen better days. In the wake of the still-lingering economic downturn, vacancy rates at shopping centers — of both the “classic mall” and “strip mall” varieties — are at their highest levels since the twentieth century. [More]

Sbarro Pizza Preheats Oven For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Sbarro Pizza Preheats Oven For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Lovers of lukewarm pizza, despair. Troubled pizza chain Sbarro is getting ready to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The slice slingers are $365 million in debt and made the move after missing their interest payments. Part of the reason Sbarro has been suffering is because it has a lot of shops tied up in malls. Traffic to those dying down with the recession and the rise of online shopping has meant fewer patrons hitting the food court. The other reason is that their pizza is just sad. [More]