retail shopping

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'Cyber Monday' Set to Smash Records

Online sales expected to hit $1.5B

(Newser) - Black Friday sales were down year-on-year , but this year's Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history. Spending on the year's most important day for online sales is expected to top last year's $1.25 billion by around 20% to hit $1.... More »

Walmart Experiments With Mobile Checkout System

People scan items via smartphone, pay at self-service kiosk

(Newser) - Eight-track tapes, dial-up modems, and ... checkout lines? Walmart is working on turning the latter into another remnant of the past with a mobile phone-based scan-and-pay system, reports the Wall Street Journal . Called "Scan and Go," the new system would allow shoppers to scan their own purchases with their... More »

Best Online Shoppers: Tablet Users

... and store websites may change to accommodate them

(Newser) - Marketing in the modern age: It seems tablet users make the best online shoppers, reports the Wall Street Journal . Industry stats put the coveted "conversion rate" at 4% or 5% for tablet users vs. 3% for PC users. What's more, perhaps because tablet users tend to be wealthier,... More »

Sales Rise Even Though Shoppers Spend Less

$41.2B weekend total beats 2008 haul by $1.2B

(Newser) - Thanksgiving weekend retail sales totaled $41.2 billion, a .5% jump over last year's $41 billion, but the average shopper spent 8% less than in 2008, $343.31 against $372.57. Discounts, especially on electronics and toys, were the overwhelming attraction as cautious consumers pried open their wallets, Bloomberg reports.... More »

Target Will Pay Shoppers to Bring Their Own Bags

Large retailers join smaller niche stores to offer rebates for reusing

(Newser) - Target and CVS will reward customers for using reusable shopping bags, and the efforts could take a billion plastic bags out of circulation. Though some retailers—notably Wal-Mart—have been slow to hop on the eco bandwagon, initiatives at smaller chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have met... More »

Long Receipts Get Shoppers in a Twist

But some like the extra coupons

(Newser) - Buy a pack of gum at a New York drugstore, get a foot-long receipt. That’s just one example of the paper-trail overload generated by many retailers in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reports. What was once a record of your purchase has become a ribbon of countless coupons,... More »

How You Can Shop —and Help the World

A list of retail strategies to do good while you buy

(Newser) - Want to do some shopping and do some good—at the same time? Sandy Stonesifer, writing for Slate, offers some ways to buy for the betterment of humanity:
  • Go for products that donate a portion of proceeds to charity—like Product (Red) iPods, which give to the Global Fund, and
... More »

Rich Feel 'Guilty' Spending Now: Poll

(Newser) - Even the still-rich are unhappy in this economic climate, though their dolor is more likely to come from shame than anything else, USA Today reports. 54% of people who have $100,000 to spend after such mundane things like mortgage payments and taxes “feel guilty purchasing luxury goods” nowadays,... More »

Designers Fight Store Discounts

Sales scare away brand loyalists, they say

(Newser) - Department-store sales may woo bargain shoppers, but they turn off the high-end base luxury designers cater to, Christina Binkley writes in the Wall Street Journal, and cut into those designers’ profits and brand control. Discounts last Thanksgiving set off a chain reaction that collapsed high-end retail’s pricing structure. “... More »

Men's Spring Fashion Looks on Bright Side

Designers hope colorful offerings will keep men shopping

(Newser) - Men better get used to wearing pink, or at least orange, as menswear designers are hoping that a splash of color will get reluctant shoppers to open their wallets. Retailers are pushing bold shades for the spring season, the Wall Street Journal reports, and even labels that have emphasized traditional,... More »

Learn to Live With Less

Couple pledged to buy only necessities for 12 months

(Newser) - Light wallets may seem particularly woeful around the holidays, when cheer often comes with a retail pricetag. But shopping binges, while they may be satisfying, ultimately just add to overconsumption problems worldwide, Judith Levine writes in the Washington Post. So she and her partner tried something new: They went a... More »

Seeking Xanadu, Shopping Malls Find Purgatory Instead

Waning consumerism, economic downturn take toll on uniquely American institution

(Newser) - An American institution—the shopping mall—is slouching toward extinction, Newsweek reports. With a record number of retail outlets, including ubiquitous Gap and Foot Locker, planning closures, roughly 20% of the 2,000 largest malls are failing, says one professor, leaving the fate of developing mega-malls like New Jersey’s... More »

Staggering Slowdown Hits Retail Sales

Ominous sign of dismal holiday season

(Newser) - Retail sales plummeted last month ahead of the holiday shopping season—which threatens to be the worst in decades, the New York Times reports. The downturn ran the gamut from upscale department stores to shops like the Gap. Neiman Marcus saw a 28% drop compared with the same month last... More »

Shopaholics Trying to Buy Self-Esteem

They love fawning clerks and attention, study says

(Newser) - Shopaholics crave the self-esteem boost they get from interaction with retail staff far more than the actual goods they buy, new research shows. Psychiatrists believe the findings will lead to a new course of therapy, rather than the usual treatment of prescribing antidepressants, Deutsche Welle reports. The disorder affects up... More »

Loving Low Dollar, Europeans Come to Shop

Tourism is up 21% in April alone

(Newser) - The weak dollar is forcing Americans to shelve travel plans, but Europeans are flying over to score on stellar exchange rates. With the British pound worth $1.99 and the euro $1.58, tourists are coming to the US to shop: More than 15 million visited in the first 4... More »

Haggling Makes a Comeback

Consumers cutting deals as economy slows

(Newser) - Many shoppers might consider haggling a buying technique better suited to a Moroccan carpet bazaar than their local mall, but the practice is picking up steam in the US in the midst of increasing economic woes, reports the Los Angeles Times. Cash-strapped consumers are trying to create bargains rather than... More »

Shops Shut as Wind Goes Out of Sales

Store closings rise along with gas prices, foreclosures

(Newser) - Soaring gas prices and a still-boiling housing crisis are taking their toll on America's smaller retailers, with store bankruptcies and vacancy rates rising steadily as customers avoid impulse-buys that once fueled the industry's rapid expansion, reports AP. Vacancies hover between 7% and 8%, up from 5% just six months ago—... More »

CEO Reveals Victoria's Secret: It's 'Too Sexy'

Brand hopes to regain its stylish, sophisticated image

(Newser) - Victoria’s Secret has become “too sexy,” the chain’s CEO said today, explaining that she wants to bring higher-quality and sophisticated products back to the stores, the Wall Street Journal reports. "We use the word 'sexy' a lot and have gotten off 'ultra-feminine,'" she said.... More »

Note to Self: Be My Valentine?

Millions of Americans buy their favorite person gifts on Feb. 14

(Newser) - Rather than going without that box of Godiva, about 8 million Americans are their own valentines, sending themselves gifts they're guaranteed to like, reports Reuters. Should you receive a valentine offering from a date, beau, or husband, disappointment may follow: There's a big difference between women's wishes and men's purchases.... More »

States, Sellers Drooling Over Gift Card Sales

Retailers add revenue when they're used, but states want their share

(Newser) - After enduring tepid holiday sales, retailers are happily awaiting $8 billion from shoppers with unused gift cards—because only then can sellers claim the added revenue, BusinessWeek reports. But some US states say that their unclaimed-property laws enable them to extract a piece of the left-over card pie. What's really... More »

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