(penner42)

Missed Black Friday 2011? Don’t Worry, Most Retailers Are Selling Same Stuff At Same Sale Prices

Did you miss shopping Black Friday sales last year and have regretted it ever since? Don’t. Our friends over at NerdWallet nerded over this year’s “leaked” Black Friday ads and determined that so far, nine out of ten stores are offering the same exact items on sale at the same exact prices. [More]

(photographynatalia)

How Retailers Can Turn Your Complaints Into Clothing You’ll Actually Buy

Usually when I’m caught commenting to a friend that “that shirt looks like my baby nephew threw up on it and then tossed glitter on it” by a store associate, I cringe. Because they work for that company and I just said something awful. But at some retailers, like Zara, sales associates actually take that kind of feedback to the powers that be so they can make clothing customers will want to buy. Fancy that. [More]

"I talked to...Carol?"

What Happens If You Try To Hold A Board Meeting In The Office Chair Department Of Staples?

Have you ever looked at the furniture set up in an office-supply store and asked yourself, “I wonder what would happen if I brought a group of people and tried to hold a business meeting here?” To be honest, neither had we, but that’s why we don’t run Improv Everywhere. The NYC-based group has staged events like the No-Pants Subway Ride and flooding a Best Buy store with ordinary shoppers wearing plain blue polo shirts to see what would happen. For their latest mission, they rounded up 24 middle-aged actors, put them in suits, and held a board meeting right in the furniture section. [More]

(funny strange or funny ha ha)

Amazon Says It’s Going To Add 50,000 Holiday Workers To Its Ranks This Season

This is the kind of Christmas Creep we can be down with: Although it’s still only mid-October, retailers have been announcing how many jobs they’ll be adding to the rolls this holiday season. And Amazon just dropped a doozy of a number, which should make plenty of people’s season’s bright — it says it will hire 50,000 workers this year as part of its seasonal hiring plan. [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 The Apple Store Trains Its Geniuses To Manipulate You

How The Apple Store Trains Its Geniuses To Manipulate You

People consider the Apple Store experience the gold standard–or at least the brushed aluminum standard–of electronics retail. Companies from AT&T to Microsoft have tried to replicate the Apple Store experience, then refused to admit that they were trying to replicate the Apple Store experience. The backbone of the store is the Genius Bar, where Apple fans seek repairs, warranty replacements, and the wise counsel of the local council of Geniuses. What goes into the formation of a Genius? Gizmodo got hold of an Apple Store training workbook, and decided to tell the world. [More]

I Used To Work At GameStop, Now I'm Never Shopping There Again

I Used To Work At GameStop, Now I'm Never Shopping There Again

We often hear from people who vow that they’ll never shop at GameStop again after one last straw of a terrible shopping experience. They’re usually not ex-employees, though. Marisa used to work at GameStop. It was a while ago: before, she claims, staffers were encouraged to sell quite so aggressively. Advanced sales techniques and even exceptionally good interpersonal skills aren’t required for employment at GameStop, or so we hear. Marisa’s experience annoyed even someone who used to spend hours in the store, though. That says something. She’s all irrational and expected staffers to know something about games. [More]

6 Retail Customers Who Give The Rest Of Us A Bad Name

6 Retail Customers Who Give The Rest Of Us A Bad Name

It’s probably happened to most of us at some point — You go to the bank, or the store and the person you deal with immediately, and without any apparent cause, assumes you have the IQ of a marshmallow peep. Perhaps that employee is a bad person. Or maybe they have just finished dealing with one of the following customers, any one of whom would make the aforementioned peep look brilliant by comparison. [More]

J.C. Penney Employee: 'I Fear We're Turning Into Sears'

J.C. Penney Employee: 'I Fear We're Turning Into Sears'

H. is just an ordinary employee of one city’s flagship J.C. Penney store somewhere in America, but tells us that since the company’s “fair and square” rebranding effort began, things are looking grim. According to H, without coupons to lure them in, the customers just aren’t coming, and quiet layoffs have begun. [More]

Should I Be Warned About A Deaf Cashier?

Should I Be Warned About A Deaf Cashier?

During Jon’s last trip to Target, he noticed something unusual: a sign in his checkout lane advising customers, “Cashier Is Hearing Impaired.” He found the sign unnecessary and potentially embarrassing for the employee. What do you think? [More]

Lessons Learned From Tough Retail Jobs

Lessons Learned From Tough Retail Jobs

Just about all tough work experiences can teach you things and better prepare you for your next job. Sticking it out for a time through a difficult job can give you tools you can apply to more enjoyable experiences as you advance in your career. [More]

Thumbs Up For The Economy: Retail Sales Are At A Five-Month High

Thumbs Up For The Economy: Retail Sales Are At A Five-Month High

Americans really got out there in February, opening wallets and throwing cash around without practically a care in the world. Not literally, but still, we did a really good job, as retails sales had their largest uptick in five months. Even the high price of gas didn’t keep us out of the stores. [More]

Do All Retail/Restaurant Workers Have To Deal With Poo-Related Vandalism?

Do All Retail/Restaurant Workers Have To Deal With Poo-Related Vandalism?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I spent many a high school and college summer toiling behind the counter at Dairy Queen. But my particular DQ was a walk-up stand which meant no public restroom. And for this, so many years later, I am now very, very glad. [More]

Priscilla Of Boston Spray-Paints Unsold Wedding Gowns To Keep Them From Grubby Poor People

Priscilla Of Boston Spray-Paints Unsold Wedding Gowns To Keep Them From Grubby Poor People

Priscilla of Boston, a high-end bridal chain best known for making Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, came to an undignified end last week when current parent company David’s Bridal shut it down. This news wouldn’t have made national headlines if an alert shopper in a Minneapolis suburb hadn’t noticed unsold dresses by the rackful being wrecked with red spray paint and tossed in a dumpster. [More]

Is It Time To Start A Best Buy Death Watch?

Is It Time To Start A Best Buy Death Watch?

Is much-hated electronics chain Best Buy spiraling out of business and into irrelevance before our eyes? Maybe. But not for a while yet. Writing for Forbes, business expert Larry Downes laid out why the company could be gradually going out of business, one Black Tie Protection Plan at a time. [More]

5 Things That Will Cost More Next Year

5 Things That Will Cost More Next Year

The rough economy of the last few years has spoiled shoppers with low inflation, but there’s no guarantee that prices will continue to stagnate next year. As the calendar turns and we march into 2012, some items and services to which you’re accustomed to paying the same price could be more expensive. [More]

Before You Return Gifts, Check Out Return Policy Tweaks

Before You Return Gifts, Check Out Return Policy Tweaks

Retailers are always tweaking their return policies, weighing the delicate balance between protecting their bottom lines and treating customers with fairness. No two return policies ever seem to be the same, and even if they are, changes come along soon enough to differentiate them once again. [More]

More Holiday Buying Leads To More Returns

More Holiday Buying Leads To More Returns

Retailers that rejoiced over big Black Friday numbers that kicked off a strong holiday sales season now have reason for pessimism. More buying means there’s also more buyer’s remorse, with a National Retail Federation survey finding that retailers will refund 9.9 cents for every dollar they take in, due to returns. The figure is up 0.1 cents from last year, and nearly three cents higher than in a better economic climate. [More]