In a world where smartphones can shoot video, snap photos, record audio, scan barcodes, and let you make price comparisons via text message, it’s almost funny to run into a paranoid manager like the one at an Ulta makeup store in Seattle. Well, funny except for that petty tyrant part where she tells you that you’ll have to take your old-school pen and papers out to the car and come back empty handed before she’ll sell you any makeup.
One problem I’ve always had when shopping for jacked-up prices is I can’t find enough crazy to go along with it. Same thing for the crazy: I know where to go to get cart-loads of that, but I can’t find the 2400% markup! What I need, clearly, is for Radio Shack to open up specialty kiosks inside Target stores, so then— oh hey! It’s the Bullseye Mobile Solution!
If you hate buying a new PC that’s riddled with bloatware, you may want to pay a Microsoft Store a visit on your next computer shopping trip. They plan on selling PCs free of any third-party trial applications, reports OhGizmo.
If you like Best Buy, come to New York City! In November the company will open its first 24-hour store, in the remodeled carcass of the Circuit City that formerly anchored Union Square. In fact, it’s probably best we call it the Circuit City Best Buy to avoid confusion. According to Best Buy’s PR department, the store will also feature “the largest Best Buy Musical Instruments Department in the United States.”
Rather than make up some line about needing to make sure customers receive everything they paid for, Home Depot is now openly treating its customers like shoplifters.
Starting the middle of next year, Walt Disney will be rolling out a new version of its mall store format that is intended to suck in your child like a fairy princess crack pipe. “The goal is to make children clamor to visit the stores and stay longer,” writes Brooks Barnes in the New York Times, by using things like embedded chips in the packaging to trigger responses from the store’s furnishings, a rotating library of scents that fill the store, and karaoke.
Joystiq reported last night that Game Crazy “plans to close 200 of its approximately 680 locations at the end of October.” There’s no official list of which stores are closing yet, so feel free to ask your local Game Crazy employees and see if you can scare them.
BJ received the coupon at left, offering $9.99 off at Heartland America on September 9 (9/9/09, get it?) Which would be great if they had mailed it to him before 10 AM on September 10th. “Looks like if I want to use the coupon I will need to build a time machine,” he wrote.
Yesterday we posted a photo a reader sent in of a toy aisle in his local Walmart that was packed with junk food. We all got commenty on what exactly Walmart was doing—was it a one-off paid promo by Pepsi? A marketing experiment? A power-mad store manager driven crazy by shelving issues? Nah, it’s actually an intentional choice mandated by corporate.
A teenager is suing Abercrombie & Fitch and one of its former employees after she caught someone filming her in one of the store’s dressing rooms.
Brand specialist Bertrand Pellegrin has published a new book for retailers that says if they want to capture the typical guy’s dollar, they need to create more inviting spaces to shop in. The author “points to electronics stores, strip clubs, sports bars and gyms as spots where men feel comfortable socializing and spending money.” That may all be (kind of) true, but that’s gonna make one hell of a noisy, sleazy, sweaty, drunken place to shop for clothes.
Jonathan’s wife ordered some clothes from Banana Republic, and was confused when another, similarly-sized box arrived on their doorstep from Banana Republic a week later. This box was clearly not destined for her, since she had not ordered the exciting new “Open Your Own Banana Republic” playset.
“Names, like fashion trends, often don’t age well,” notes Chadwick Matlin over at Slate’s The Big Money. In this week’s “Broadband” video segment, he looks at Radio Shack’s weird rebranding effort to get people to call it “The Shack,” even though it’s not changing its name, and even though “The Shack” isn’t any better. “Radio Shack has hedged its bets,” Matlin writes, “Splitting its identity in two and not choosing either. What’s worse, neither is especially impressive, or especially modern.”
Jay Goltz, a small business owner in Chicago, thinks there are three reasons why customer service is so terrible at so many companies.
This is old news to some of our readers, but not all: Microsoft is planning to open their own retail stores. What would such a wondrous place look like? Gizmodo has a concept Powerpoint presentation (what else?) that shows what the stores could look like.
Jim spotted this confusing sign at a Fry’s store in Campbell, Calif. On a display of compact fluorescent light bulbs, the store helpfully notes that some assembly is required. “Is it safe to assemble your own fluorescent light bulbs?” he wrote. “I mean with the dangerous mercury vapor and all?”