Consumers are cutting back — and the AP says that shoppers are abandoning Target for even cheaper stores. In addition, Target’s credit card division is running into trouble as shell-shocked shoppers aren’t able to pay their bills.
As pretty much every retailer imaginable aside from Walmart loses money — one chain is not only doing fine, it’s actually growing — GameStop. It seems that when the going gets tough — people just want to play video games.
The New York Times’ Bits Blog posits a terrifying idea: what if they bring back Clippy to work the floor in the new Microsoft retail stores? “It looks like you’re trying to run out of the store in disgust!” [Bits]
A little over a month ago, Mark gave up on his GoPhone SIM, went into an AT&T store with his iPhone 2G in hand, and signed up for a new two year, post-paid plan. The sales rep promised Mark that his corporate discount would apply, and instead of a contract presented just a receipt. Now AT&T is saying there’s no corporate discount on an iPhone purchase—even though he didn’t buy an iPhone, just the service plan—and that he can’t cancel now without paying an ETF because it’s past the 30 day mark.
Miriam got a rude surprise at Urban Outfitters yesterday when she was trying on some clothes. Loud music doesn’t cover up the nipples, people; keep the changing room doors shut, or at least don’t laugh about it after exposing a customer.
According to Bloomberg, retailers expect to close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, because no one bought enough Christmas presents. Thanks, Marc!
Shoppers are frequently haggling over prices, even at major chain stores, the AP reports. With retail stores suffering, “you’d have to be a moron not to ask for a discount.”
In an update and conclusion, reader Sean let us know he finally got satisfaction regarding his story that we posted, “Circuit City Credits Wrong Card For $130 Return, Sends You Away With Nothing.”
Everyone seems to agree– this year will be the year of the cheap big-screen tv. The only question remains… will anyone buy them?
Last month, Walmart announced it was shutting down the DRM side of its online music store, and too bad if you were a customer, because they were also going to turn off the DRM server that authorized your music for playback. Apparently enough customers complained, because they came to their senses—at least for the time being—and decided to keep the server running. Read their email below.
Last week, Walmart sent out emails to its online music store customers letting them know that on October 9th, 2008, they will no longer be able to play any DRM-crippled tracks. Unlike Yahoo, which did the right thing by offering free replacement downloads of unprotected songs when they killed their DRM program, Walmart simply brags about its new unlicensed model and tells you to burn your protected tracks to CD if you really want to listen to them in the future. Good job, Walmart, there goes another betrayed consumer into the welcoming arms of digital piracy. And another. And another…
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.
Sidd snapped this photo at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, NY over the weekend. “Flexible hours” in this case might mean a lot of free time very soon.
The New York Times reports that several supermarket and retail chains, including Safeway, Walmart, and Whole Foods, are beginning to experiment with much smaller store sizes that emphasize things like cafes, prepared meals, and produce. The idea is to emphasize speed over choice, and was apparently triggered by UK competitor Tesco, which has launched over 70 small-format supermarkets in Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California over the past year. Of course, the stores also require less shelf space for products than they did a year ago.
Best Buy will start selling the iPhone on September 7th, making it the only retailer other than Apple and AT&T to offer the device. [Associated Press]