While there are plenty of people interested in spreading cheer and goodwill during the holiday season, there are also those intent on making a lot of folks really, really sad. Such was the case in Portland, ME, where a prankster duped passers-by into believing that an empty lot would soon be the site of a new IKEA store. [More]
If you were worried that you might have to spend all of Thanksgiving Day at home and not inside a Macy’s store, there’s no need to worry. The department store chain will open on Brown Thursday at 6 P.M., allowing employees some of the holiday with their families if they choose to or are asked to work. [More]
As part of its attempt to bring struggling sales numbers up, Kohl’s is betting on two new kinds of stores: the company announced plans to open a number of smaller-format stores that don’t take up as much space as its traditional stores, as well as more “Off-Aisle” outlet locations offering lower-priced items.
Walk into any Walmart and you’ll see shelves upon shelves stocked with a wide variety of products in every shape and size. But that will soon change, as the retail giant begins a transformation of sorts by decluttering its aisles of excess items. [More]
While Chevron is experimenting with NFC-compatible mobile payments in a few California gas stations, East Coast fuel and convenience store Cumberland Farms is using their own mobile payment app to keep customers loyal, cut back on credit card fees, and even get gas-buying customers into the store. Their secret is not so secret: it’s a loyalty card and payment app similar to the one that Starbucks uses. [More]
After years of struggling to maintain sales, Barnes & Noble may be looking to revamp its image, starting with smaller stores. [More]
Shoppers heading to Macy’s generally plan to update the items hanging in their closets, not the electronics littering their living rooms. But that could soon be changing, as the department store plans to house Best Buy outlets in several locations starting this fall. [More]
Contrary to what you might believe, the world is not, in fact, your toilet. Which is why police in Scottsdale, AZ are looking for an unidentified man who was caught on camera peeing through the mail slot of a furniture store.
I live in a smaller metropolitan area where people often whine that we have to drive more than two hours each way to visit an IKEA store. What if we didn’t, though? What if cities too small to support a mammoth IKEA of their own had small stores with some retail offerings, where they could pick up their online orders of flat-pack furniture themselves? The chain of mega-stores announced this week that they’re trying that idea out in Canada. [More]
The big box locations that once served as Target stores in Canada now have a new tenant: Walmart. [More]
40% of the items sold on Amazon.com in 2014 weren’t sold by Amazon. Sure, Amazon collected fees, a percentage of payments, and storage fees for items stored in and shipped from Amazon warehouses. However, Amazon didn’t own the actual stuff, serving as a sales platform instead of a retailer for 2 billion items sold on the site. [More]
When people who are truly wealthy go shopping, they don’t always go to the regular malls that regular people use. No, people who drop six-figure sums at a single mall every year are entitled to a much fancier level of service, and there’s a Long Island mall that exists to provide it to them. Since the ’80s, Americana Manhasset has been a mall only for rich people. [More]
Back in the 1920s, catalog retail giant Sears opened massive spaces in major cities that served as combination retail stores and regional distribution centers for catalog goods. These centers closed in the ’80s and ’90s, but now online retail giant Amazon.com is following the same pattern in a tiny way, opening a combination retail store and pick-up center in New York City, across the street from the Empire State Building. [More]
Despite the success of the company’s e-reader, the Nook, Barnes & Noble has been struggling to compete with the Internet with its brick-and-mortar stores for a while now, as have other retailers with physical locations. Another sign of perhaps eventual total doom? The CEO of B&N’s retail group says the company will be slowly shuttering about a third of its current physical stores over the next 10 years. [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.
Next time a checkout clerk offers you an “opportunity” to sign up for a store credit card so that you can get an instant 10% discount on that pack of gum or box of tissues you’re buying, remember this: the price you’ll pay for that deal is an interest rate as high as 25%. And, yeah, you’re telling yourself that’s no big deal, since you’ll pay it off every month. But will you? And are you prepared for the other gotchas tied up in a bright ribbon by your friendly retailer?
Barnes & Noble shares are soaring after it announced that it was up for sale and may even go private, or merge with Borders.
There is a free thinker at the Lowe’s in Fort Oglethorpe, GA, who has rejected the system’s stifling rules for spelling. Nice penmanship, though. (Thanks to Tim!)