On Saturday night, there was a massive kerfuffle at a very crowded mall near Chicago. Police have pieced together that early in the evening, two people began fighting, were separated, and then began fighting again. From somewhere in the mall came three loud bangs, which people in the crowd assumed were gunshots. They were not: the noise has been variously described as someone dropping a lid or banging on a pot in the food court. [More]
Yes, it’s advantageous to line up for an irresistible sale early. A duo of California shoppers were a little too early to this year’s Black Friday sale at their local Best Buy, though, camping outside of the store more than a week ahead of time. Security staff booted them off the property, asking them to return on Thanksgiving. Thank Providence someone in this scenario is sane. [More]
Who will you be fighting for a parking space at the mall this year? A recent survey by Market Forice Information indicates that almost three-quarters of the American public plan to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving this year, and sixty-one percent plan to do some shopping online on the next weekday, or “Cyber Monday.” [More]
The people on that People of Walmart website may wear some ugly t-shirts, but at least they’re honest when it comes to dealing with strangers. According to a new study that looked at how markets, religion, and the size of a community impact concepts of fairness and punishment, Walmart grocery shoppers in Missouri came out on top in terms of treating the other side fairly and punishing selfishness. [More]
The Los Angeles Times says that a Walmart in Upland, California had to kick everyone out and shut down for 3 hours this morning, because shoppers lost their damned minds. [More]
Retailers have been hoping that we’d enter the annual Festival of Shopping with higher spirits than last year, but it looks like that might not happen after all. The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was updated today, and it shows a drop to 66.0, “well below October’s reading of 70.6 and a sharp reversal of the 71.0 figure economists had expected.”
We’ve all been there, trying on a pair of shorts in a Kohl’s dressing room when suddenly we feel the cold sting of three used syringes. Or maybe it’s a joy that was limited to a Texas woman who was shopping yesterday at the Kohl’s in Harris County, Texas.
Time interviewed Paco Underhill, a retail consultant and the author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, to find out how the average American consumer shops and thinks these days. Turns out, according to Underhill, there are three types of “average consumer” out there now, and—you may have noticed this already—the era of the big box retailer is in decline.
Shaw’s has wised up to the trick of using a basket instead of a shopping cart to physically limit your grocery purchases, and they’ve come up with a creative workaround: convertible baskets that you can drag behind you on wheels when they become too heavy to carry.
The aspirational upper-middle-class customer who helped companies like Coach and Saks post double-digit growth in the past few years has disappeared due to the current rotten economy, writes BusinessWeek. The result: luxury goods companies that expanded their product lines to appeal to the not-quite-rich now have $150 purses and nobody to buy them. Coach went so far as to offer coupons recently “to drum up sales.”
A Vermont judge sent his sheriff to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try a child molester.
They stopped passers-by and asked if they were residents of Caledonia County; a “yes” answer won a summons to appear at the courthouse for jury duty immediately, right now, this minute. They rounded up 45 people that way in all, to join the 34 already at the courthouse.
Sometimes being a conscientious shopper really does matter. The man who realized that tubes of discount toothpaste were tainted with diethylene glycol last May has been found and interviewed by the New York Times. Eduardo Arias, a 51-year-old government worker in Panama City, was shopping in a discount store one Saturday when he saw the toothpaste—he said he could read the ingredients list clearly without even picking up a tube, and when he saw “diethylene glycol” as an ingredient, alarms went off.
One time we bought some kitty litter at a NJ Shop Rite and noticed the price at checkout was higher than on the in-store label. Standard store policy says this means we get it for free. We brought bag up to customer service. They sent a stock boy to check the aisle. He returned and said we were wrong. We went back to the shelves ourselves, grabbed the label, and presented it to the desk. Customer service people sheepishly gave us the litter on the house.
Shoppers are less likely to buy clothing if they think it has been touched by others, accordinig to a recent study at the University of Alberta.