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!)
Ultra-cheap discounter Dollar Tree has turned off the in-store music in all of its stores, citing cost issues. On the company’s Facebook page, shoppers keep complaining that the company is being too cheap (many don’t seem to know about licensing fees for music), but Dollar Tree’s official response is that it freed up expenses to keep prices low.
Now that Walmart has finally triumphed over Chicago, it’s setting its sites on the remaining urban markets that have so far resisted the retailer. The Washington Post says an unnamed source has told them that Walmart is in final negotiations with a plot of land “on New York Avenue NE near the intersection of Bladensburg Road.” The area currently houses an auto parts shop and a strip club, among other businesses.
Like a big city pimp waiting to pick you up off the ground when times get tough, Walmart was able to establish its first stores in Chicago through guile, perseverance, and a few meaningless reassurances. Smaller stores! $0.50 pay raise! Union-built! These are the meager concessions that led Chicago to sell-out their local retailers.
Mail in rebates are a sneaky way to make things look cheaper than they actually are at the point of sale, since many consumers never actually get any cash back. Now New Jersey’s state Assembly is considering legislation that would require retailers to charge shoppers the after-rebate price on goods, instead of forcing them to mail in or submit online requests. If the retailer still wants to take advantage of the rebate, that’s no problem; he’ll just have to mail it in himself.
If security guards start carrying guns at department stores, I’m going to stop referring to them as rent-a-cops. Not because they’ve suddenly jumped up on my respect-o-meter, but because they might open fire. At a mall in Virginia last Sunday, a J.C. Penney security guard pursued a shoplifter into the mall parking lot and fired a gun into the air. The shoplifter was arrested, and the police confiscated the guard’s gun. The store won’t say whether it was owned by the guard or issued by management.
It’s not often that a retail store becomes an icon even before it opens for business, but Apple managed to pull off this weird architectural/cultural feat with its glass box Apple store in NYC in 2006–it’s the 5th most photographed landmark in the city and 28th worldwide according to a new study of Flickr images. The man who designed it, 70-year-old Peter Bohlin, has been awarded the 2010 gold medal from the American Institute of Architects for his entire body of work, and he doesn’t like computers and had never designed a retail environment before the Apple store.