‘Tis the season — and by that of course, I mean the holidays can prove to be tricky for the retail industry to maneuver: from security breaches to product delays, layaway debacles to shipping mistakes, we’ve seen all kinds of incidents that turn shoppers against brands and stores. In the latest brouhaha, Nordstrom found itself apologizing to customers for a Hanukkah sweater some called offensive.
When Walmart stores across the country open their doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day there will be a Black Friday staple missing: hourly doorbuster deals. [More]
October 1 was supposed to be the deadline for U.S. retailers to update their payment systems to accept new chip-enabled credit cards, but a number of stores haven’t finished making this change, and most consumers still have boring ol’ no-chip cards. The good news is that this foot-dragging on everyone’s part may have the effect of not slowing down checkout lines this holiday shopping season. [More]
Last-minute holiday shopping just got a bit easier for some Californians who simply forget to grab a gift for your electronics-loving family and friends: Best Buy is testing same-day delivery. [More]
Sometimes it’s just easier to bypass the hustle and bustle of the local mall and do all your holiday shopping from the comfort of your own home. One big problem with that: the sometimes costly shipping fees. Best Buy is hoping free shipping turns into more online sales this year. [More]
Each year, consumers marking items off their holiday shopping lists are tempted by retailers’ store-branded credit cards and the offers of “0% interest for 12 months” or “special financing.” And this year – although it’s only October – is no different. [More]
If you wanted to get away from your family this Thanksgiving and buy video games and/or video game accessories, you’ll have to do it somewhere other than GameStop. The chain announced today that it will not be open on Nov. 26. [More]
Even as prices for both diesel gasoline and jet fuel have dropped, the country’s two largest parcel shippers have remained steadfast in maintaining surcharges that will make it more expensive for businesses to fulfill online orders this holiday season. [More]
Retailers really, really want to wean American shoppers off our recession-era addiction to discounts. Will it be possible for them to resist the temptation to slap “40% off” signs everywhere to attract customers? Retail forecasts for this holiday season show that retailers want to avoid selling products at a discount, while consumers plan to make their shopping decisions according to price. [More]
Layaway is a very simple transaction: you pick out an item, a store puts it aside, and you make payments on it until you’ve paid it off and you can bring it home. It was a dying retail tradition when tightening credit markets and a massive recession led stores, notably discount retailers Kmart and Walmart, to bring it back. This year, Kmart wants customers who may no longer have a local store to use layaway plans to buy holiday gifts. [More]
Thinking about getting a jump on your holiday shopping? So is Walmart, apparently. The company announced today that it will open its seasonal layaway program early and lower the price for eligible items. [More]
When online retailers like Amazon began making a big splash with free or discounted shipping, a lot of what customers bought were books, DVDs, video games — items that didn’t take up much room. But now people are buying TVs, refrigerators, grills, furniture, and other large items online, and UPS is apparently tired of giving retailers a discount on these shipments. [More]
We know that mistakes happen and things occasionally get lost in shipping, especially when you’re talking about the world’s largest retailer during the year’s busiest shopping season. But if a retailer admits to misplacing your order, it shouldn’t try to cash in on its own screw-up by charging you more than you had already paid. [More]
For those shoppers scrambling to finish up their holiday shopping for the next week, there may be times when — gasp! — they must leave their homes and visit brick-and-mortar stores or malls. Those people are most definitely dreading the idea of finding parking, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself by keeping a few tips in mind.
If you have been meaning to buy yourself or a loved one a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus but haven’t managed to get around to plunking down the cash for it, your procrastination has paid off. Walmart has cut prices on these devices to $129 and $229, respectively, for customers willing to sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. [More]