Daniel ordered what’s called a “country bundle” from 1-800-Flowers for his girlfriend. When we have flowers delivered, we’re not buying dead plant stems. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be such a large industry built around flower delivery. What we’re buying is the experience of dazzling our partner when they see the flowers. Daniel’s girlfriend received this arrangement, but she wasn’t dazzled. Should she have been? [More]
Urban Outfitters and its sibling store, Anthropologie, have never been paragons of honor and good taste. Someone’s always accusing the company of ripping off an independent designer here, promoting underage drinking, drug abuse, and eating disorders there, and the occasional $400 racist trope candlestick. This week, however, they managed to anger some of the most elite and badass fighting men in the world by slapping a mock Army Rangers scroll on an $84 vest. [More]
There are gracious ways to tell someone that your store doesn’t sell clothes that fit them. Throwing a teenage customer out of the store by saying, “You’re too big to be in this store. I need you to leave” is not one of them. That’s what an Oregon teen claims happened to her at a Rue 21 store at her local mall. [More]
When you’re running a retail business, the customers who spend the most in your store are valuable and magical creatures. Loyalty cards let you return that love to your customers. Sort of. Some companies are taking rewards cards a step further, rewarding their most loyal customers (probably the ones with the most money) with special perks. [More]
When a dead newborn turned up in the rest room of a Kohl’s department store in Kentucky last week, some shoppers were horrified to learn that they were browsing sales right near a possible homicide investigation. Maybe the management of other chains paid attention: a 57-year-old died in the dressing room of a North Carolina Dillard’s store, and management shut the whole store down. [More]
Puppies are small, cuddly, and pricey, so why not stuff some down your pants and shoplift them? That was the logic of a man in Florida, who stuffed a dachsund puppy and a pug puppy down his pants on two separate trips to an Orlando pet store. [More]
Holiday Creep is the retail phenomenon where retailers market holidays earlier and earlier in order to maximize their sales of Christmas trees or chocolate eggs. We all know Christmas Creep and Easter Creep, but is back-to-school creep a thing? How early is too early to start getting ready for the next school year? [More]
Back in 2008, Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral-service company, made a bid to acquire the second-largest company, Stewart Enterprises Inc. The smaller company rebuffed its suitor, but reconsidered after an offer this year. The two companies will now form one large mega-death-services-corporation just as baby boomers are about to consider planning–and more importantly, pre-paying for–their funerals. [More]
A strange gas station scam in Minnesota didn’t hurt customers, exactly: it benefited customers. The scam victim was the owner of the gas station, who thought that they had sold the place to credible new owners. Instead, after a glorious one-day sale with everything in the convenience store half off and gas about forty cents per gallon below the local market price, the sale collapsed. The owner says that the down payment check bounced, the buyers disappeared, and $50,000 in cash was missing…along with the gas and merchandise that local customers pounced on during that too-good-to-be-true sale. [More]
Michael is buying his mother a new computer for Mother’s Day, because he’s a good son and she’s moving away soon. As long as he was buying a computer, he wanted to get some reward points from Best Buy on his credit card. Only he couldn’t. While the product page bragged of “free shipping,” Best Buy was not willing to ship the item. At all.
Early on, kids don’t care very much about what they’re supposed to enjoy playing with. Sometimes boys play with trucks, and girls play with sparkly magic wands. It bothers some people when toys are sorted into “Boys” and “Girls” sections, even if they aren’t explicitly labeled as such. But customers of UK pharmacy chain Boots got very upset when they noticed that toy sections had clear pink and blue labels, and a line of scientific exploration toys were only in the “boys” section. The message, detractors said: science isn’t for girls. Perhaps that caring for babies ins’t for boys, either.
Three years ago, it was a beautiful and memorable moment when Greg proposed to his girlfriend and she said “yes.” Only a few hours afterward, something that was memorable for a different reason happened: the rhodium coating on the future Mrs. Greg’s white gold ring wore off, making it look yellow and setting off her nickel allergy. The couple convinced the retailer, Jared, to replace it with platinum, but that didn’t work out so well, either. [More]
Reader IonicBurn noticed something kind of weird over his breakfast cereal this week. He had two different-sized boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because it’s the best cereal in the world and that’s what his wife happened to pick up. With the boxes side by side, he noticed that the sugar and whole grain content different from one box to the other. Aside from the nutrition discrepancy, the boxes were identical. So how does being in a different box change the nutrition content? [More]
Shopping at Party City, Jeff noticed this odd sticker. It advertises discounts of “up to 75% off” and that the item retails at $9.99 and now costs $10. Only that’s not really the confusing part.
Why are we still yammering about Valentine’s Day flowers? The holiday itself is long gone, but as birthdays, funerals, hospitalizations, and other occasions come and go, the problems with using national Big Flower websites remain. As another major flower-sending holiday, Mother’s Day, approaches, we’re sharing this story from reader Josh about how wonderfully his order from a local florist turned out. [More]
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter all that much when a florist substitutes in a different flower from the one you ordered, and sometimes it matters very much. In the case of Andy’s fiancée, it’s actually kind of important for her to not get a certain kind of flower, because she’s allergic to it. It’s no fun to get flowers for your birthday if you can’t be in the same room as them. [More]