Walgreens says declining home values and rising unemployment are causing consumers to cut back on everything but essentials like soap and milk. Consequently, the drugstore chain is having to spend money revamping its merchandise selection to match the trend. It’s back to basics if you want to make money. [Bloomberg]
Sallie Mae‘s 2009 study of credit card use shows that students just love binging on plastic. Kids these days have more than four cards on average, and most of them carry a balance pushing $3,000. Many don’t tell their parents, and almost a fifth graduate with more than $7,000 of debt. This is how meltdowns start…
The recession continues to rot America’s cultural core, this time by attacking one of our most cherished traditions: prom. Gone are the ice sculptures and $1,000 dresses. America’s children are now buying dresses off racks and trading limos for the family car. Imagine!
In that strange hinterland between the awesome and the horrific, there will be a Snuggie pub-crawl in Chicago on Saturday April 18th. People in Snuggies – for the uninitiated, blankets with sleeves – will travel from bar to bar, leaving a trail of slaughtered pints in their wake. It’s strictly BYOS, bring-your-own-Snuggie. All hail The Warm Bringer.
If America’s Google searches for the 25th are any indicator, you all enjoyed tasty meals at IHOP, went for a Christmas Day shopping spree at Walmart, and gave up on Rock Band and Guitar Hero and searched for cheat codes. Tell us what you got, and what you gave, in the comments.
Consumer Reports says that despite an overall downturn in appliance purchases, one category is up 13% from last year. Freezers!
The global economy is crashing, credit markets are playing ice age, and you consumers have a simple choice: buy things now or prepare to be stabbed next year.
Spend a little time looking at Google trends and you’ll notice that no one really gave a crap about the FDIC until fairly recently.
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.
48% of teenagers haven’t bought a CD in a year, meaning that 52% of teenagers still buy more CDs than we do. [LA Times]
Circuit City’s same store sales for the month of December are down 12% in the U.S., causing some to speculate that firing all the people who understand the products you carry might not be a winning sales strategy.
Not since the buying frenzy of 1999, when people bought champagne in bulk to ring in the millennium, have U.S. champagne and sparkling wine sales been so high. Volume for 2007 is expected to hit 900 million glasses, up 4% over 2006, says the 2007 Impact Annual Wine Study.
Muji is a Japanese store that is, um, all the rage in NYC right now, apparently.
If you were planning on getting a Talking Jesus Action Figure this Christmas (or whatever) you’re almost out of luck. Walmart has completely sold out of the toy and Target.com has “very limited supply,” according to the manufacturer’s spokesperson, Joshua Livingston.
The end of a strange article about mad cow disease and sperm donors closes with some interesting customer-preferences trivia: “Sperm bank managers have noticed a few trends. Married couples seek donors who resemble the husband so that nonbiological father and child will look roughly alike. Single women, on the other hand, often choose conventionally attractive donors.” [Slate]
The NYT has an article today about the terrifying rate of package redesign, a phenomenon the industry blames on, what else—the internet. Oh, and Tivo.