Police evacuated a Florida mall this week and kept it on lockdown after someone threw a powdery substance into a Lenscrafters store. The mysterious grains weren’t anthrax or ricin — nay, none of those dangerous toxins. But that doesn’t mean it was a pleasant powdered sugar party: Police say a man was scattering the ashes of his fiancée. [More]
Whenever we hear stories of people finding large sums of money out there a few things come to mind: Who are you people, wandering around with such riches? And also, it’s a good thing there are enough nice people in the world to find your stuff and give it back once you’ve inevitably misplaced your treasures. Like a homeless man in Boston who handed over a backpack containing $41,900 he found at a mall. [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]
Does the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota need to get bigger? It’s only the biggest mall in the country, so of course it does! The mall just broke ground on a $250 million addition that adds 50 stores, an atrium, an office tower, a luxury hotel, and a massive and fancy “food hall” to replace the current food court. The owners ultimately plan $2.5 billion in additions in the coming decade, adding one new thing per year. [More]
According to police, a 24-year-old Minnesota man went on a voyeuristic rampage at a local mall in April, slipping his iPhone under the door of a Gap changing room, up a shopper’s skirt, and into a ladies’ room stall. Surveillance camera footage and information from a Gap worker who happened to have attended high school with the suspect led to his arrest. [More]
Earlier this month, a truck rolled over into a ravine next to the Ohio Valley Mall in Clairsville, OH. Of course, the sight of a huge truck resting in the ravine drew some onlookers from the mall parking lot, many of whom tried to take photos. It also drew one security guard who has lost her job after being involved in a physical altercation with one of these onlookers. [More]
Earlier this week, we told you how Nordstrom has been testing a smartphone tracking service at 17 of its stores around the country. Almost immediately after the public found out about the tracking system, the department store decided to put an end to it, though it insists the timing is just a coincidence. [More]
Earlier this year we told you about the many hi-tech ways in which retailers are tracking customers’ movements and purchases. Now high-end department store Nordstrom admits that it’s using a smartphone tracking system to keep an eye on shoppers’ behavior.
From the second you pull into a store’s parking lot, you can be relatively certain there are electronic eyes on you. But we’re way past the days of black-and-white monitors to discourage vandalism and shoplifting. Today’s retailers follow you everywhere and know lots about you. [More]
A shopping center in Yonkers, N.Y. (yep, Consumerist’s global headquarters) didn’t think that it was doing anything wrong when it set up its own parking meters along the private streets on its property. Customers fed them. You park next to a meter, you feed it, right? Park Ridge has collected money and even issued its own parking tickets since the spring of 2011. The problem, of course, is that the city of Yonkers is the only entity with the authority to issue parking tickets and run meters. According to city officials, the shopping center’s developer kept collecting meter money and ticketing non-payers even after the City Council asked them to stop. [More]
As we do more and more of our shopping while sitting on our couches in our pajamas with an Ultrabook, we’re destroying a glorious American institution: the mall. Realspace retailers large and small alike have gone bankrupt and shut down or scaled back: a process that the recession only sped up. The best case scenario? Those former malls might become community colleges or gain some condos. What’s more likely? Rotting husks of shopping centers dotting our cityscapes, dragging down property values and making everyone sad. [More]
Sometimes the mall can feel like a shark tank, with shoppers circling each other and sniffing out deals that retailers throw out like so much chum. But visitors at a Shanghai shopping center had a bit of a more unfortunate and very real experience with sea life when an aquarium full of sharks, turtles and fish shattered suddenly. [More]
Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets.
On Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 PM, a man opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle at the Clackamas Town Center mall in Portland, Oregon. According to police, wo people were killed and as many as six injured, at least one of whom is hospitalized and in serious condition. Early reports indicated that the gunman may have been wearing body armor and/or camouflage, and was wearing the hockey mask associated with Jason in the Friday the 13th films. After firing up to 60 rounds, he killed himself. No law enforcement officers fired any shots inside the mall.
While Santa Claus ain’t Santa Claus without that flowing white beard, that snowy expanse isn’t the best-suited facial hair for rappelling from a mall ceiling. A mall Santa in England found that out the tangled up way when he attempted to lower himself down a rope to cheering crowds, only to get stuck when his beard snagged on the rope. Chimneys are probably way easier to maneuver. Ho ho ho. [More]
Do you have questions about how the business of retail works from the other side of the register? Are you curious about store credit cards, loyalty cards, confusing signage, women’s clothing sizes, loss prevention, sales goals, the all-consuming power of Corporate, or other things that form the basis of most Consumerist complaints? The Consumerist’s Mystery Manager is here to answer your questions.
While retail stores all need someplace for employees to wash up and occasionally relieve themselves, many stores have a “staff only” policy for access to the toilet. But are there situations where the store staffers should make an exception in the name of saving a customer from embarrassment?