It’s back-to-school season, when stores stack their aisles high with folding chairs and mini-fridges meant for students heading to college or back to college. What do you actually need, though, and how should you shop for it? What should you spend a lot on, and what can you leave behind? Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports have some ideas about what new students should shop for, and how to shop for it. [More]
In a deeply unscientific experiment, Vice’s Yasmin Jeffery went to IKEA to eavesdrop on strangers and try to draw wider conclusions about their relationships. While she was prowling in the UK, the feeling of wanting to argue with your partner in an IKEA, much like the feeling of being trapped in a parking garage with no way out, is a universal part of the human condition, even in places where there is no IKEA, because the arguments aren’t really about IKEA at all. [More]
When you see the words “final sale” on a sign at your favorite retailer, that means that an item is as marked down as it’s going to get, right? Well… maybe not. Watch for fine print on that signage: what you might think just means the last markdown on an item could actually mean “no returns.” [More]
Convenient? Sure. But we will never look at the self-checkout scanner the same way again after an Ohio man admitted to defecating on a UScan-it terminal at a Kroger grocery.
Over the past year, a number of onetime mall behemoths — Macy’s, Sears, and other retailers — have suffered slipping sales that have led to store closures. While these mid-range department stores have working for years to increase sales and meet customer demand, many high-end retailers – like Nordstrom — have avoided that fate, at least until now. [More]
Do you have an aspiration in life? Do you confess it to the world when you’re out late after maybe a few adult beverages? Noted actor, treasure of the Anglophone world, and eater of tuna salad sandwiches on planes Patrick Stewart would like the world to know that he loves hardware stores, and he would really love to have one in his backyard. [More]
What happens when you pack a bunch of people into a space and then only leave them with one way to exit? You get a big ol’ logjam, the kind that trapped many shoppers at a new IKEA location in the UK for hours while they waited to use the parking garage’s one and only exit. [More]
Here’s a mind-boggling number: this year, American families are predicted to spend $540 billion on back-to-school shopping, or roughly the gross domestic product of Belgium. Where will they spend that money? Staples is still coming off a rough breakup after the Federal Trade Commission stood in the way of its proposed merger with OfficeMax, and really hopes that you spend some of your money there. [More]
In a sign of the sad state of retail these days, a company that delivered clothing to Forever 21’s stores is canceling its contract with the chain, saying business has slowed down to the point where it just isn’t profitable anymore. [More]
Part of the fun of traveling internationally is the chance to live out your dream of being an adult in a literal candy (and booze, and accessory, and food) store: the duty-free shop. These in-airport retailers have long been a go-to for weary travelers looking to pick up, for example, a Toblerone the size of a small car, but a new report suggests that fewer people are actually making purchases after browsing the store shelves. [More]
A decade ago, as farmers markets were beginning to see a resurgence in a number of U.S. cities, they were a place to spend a morning picking up fresh, seasonal ingredients. Aside from the occasional stand selling baked goods, there wasn’t really anywhere to dine or socialize. [More]
While Target and Walmart have convinced millions of shoppers to buy groceries at the same store where you buy your furniture, towels, TVs, and just about anything else, traditional supermarket chains have not made much of a push to sell clothing to customers popping in to stock up on eggs, milk, and bread. But one Hy-Vee store in Minnesota is hoping to open shoppers’ eyes to a brave new world by including a clothing boutique alongside all the groceries.
Does where you shop influence how you treat others? According to one group of researchers, the very act of standing near luxury stores turned people into jerky jerkfaces who’d likely rather sniff the air and saunter off than help someone in need. [More]
While there are no doubt innumerable studies, surveys, and reports on the habits of modern shoppers, at least one survey says that consumers are buying stuff online more than they are in stores, for the first time ever. [More]