13 Stories

Wal-Mart Will Track Your Undies

Privacy advocates slam garment chips

(Newser) - Wal-Mart's plans to insert a tracking chip inside individual pairs of jeans and underwear has privacy advocates worried. The retail giant says the RFID chips will make inventory control much more efficient, but privacy groups warn that the chips—which can be removed, but not turned off—could be misused... More »

Retailers Slash Selection in Response to Recession

(Newser) - A fundamental shift is going on in the consumer product world as retailers decide that less is more, the Wall Street Journal reports. Big national retailers are expected to slash selection by at least 15%, analysts say. Gone will be 30% of Kroger’s cereals, 20 of the 24 tape... More »

Shopping: Patriotic, or Soul-Killing?

Wouldn't we rather have factories than malls?

(Newser) - These days, it’s patriotic to be a shopaholic. “We neurotically monitor the retailers' latest financial results and our identification with the fortunes of the big stores seems absolute,” writes Andrew Martin of the Guardian. But Martin suspects we’re just waking up to the fundamental absurdity of... More »

Overbuilding Leaves Malls Under-Occupied

Retail space glut likely to well outlast current economic slowdown

(Newser) - A decade of rapid expansion by developers and an increase in store closings has created a glut of space in malls that could persist for years, the Wall Street Journal reports. “There were a lot of projects that shouldn't have been built” during the past decade, the CEO of... More »

Retailers Struggle With Ruling That OK'd Price-Fixing

Enabling manufacturers to set minimum prices leads to collusion, some say

(Newser) - A Supreme Court ruling that last year allowed manufacturers to set minimum sale prices for their goods is giving retailers fits, the Wall Street Journal reports. Manufacturers, barred from the practice for nearly a century, are being allowed to punish retailers who discount their products by cutting off supplies. Some... More »

Cartier Mines MySpace for Clients in Rough

Luxe jeweler tries to reach younger audience through social networking

(Newser) - Luxury jeweler Cartier has teamed with MySpace in a unique effort to develop a new, younger audience by blending networking, entertainment, and marketing, reports the Wall Street Journal. The move, one of the first by a major luxury brand, may provide a road map for other luxury retailers so far... More »

Steve & Barry's Heads to Chapter 11

Deep-discount fashion retailer can't find rescue funding

(Newser) - Dress-down discount clothing retailer Steve & Barry’s, which launched its first store nearly a quarter-century ago, could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as today after a fruitless search for rescue financing, reports the Wall Street Journal. The trendy retailer could close all of its 275 outlets,... More »

Detente Mellows Wal-Mart's Once-Virulent Foes

Retailer finds middle ground with detractors

(Newser) - Wal-Mart, more accustomed to being lambasted than lauded by its critics, is seeing a shift in public opinion, reports the New York Times. The mega-retailer has reached accords with some of its most ardent detractors, even listening to their advice on issues like employee health care. The company, too, has... More »

New Owners to Close All Sharper Image Stores

Will continue wholesale, catalog businesses; unload $50M in inventory

(Newser) - Specialty gadget retailer Sharper Image, purchased Thursday in a bankruptcy auction for $49 million by investment firms Hilco Organization and Gordon Brothers, will close its remaining 86 stores, reports CNet. The new owners say they’ve developed a wide-ranging licensing strategy for the brand and will continue developing the company... 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 »

H&M Named Europe's Most Valuable Brand

Interbrand says strong 'own-label' is key to international success

(Newser) - Swedish clothing chain H&M was named Europe’s most valuable brand in the inaugural  ranking of retailers on the continent by Interbrand, the brand consulting firm, reports the Financial Times. H&M’s brand value was placed at $20.7 billion. French retailer Carrefour ($13.2 billion) and Sweden’... More »

Gift Cards Not Looking So Sharp

Bankrupt retailer isn't honoring $25M in gift cards

(Newser) - Consumers holding Sharper Image gift cards are out a collective $25 million after the gadget retailer stopped honoring the cards when it filed for bankruptcy in February, MarketWatch reports. With the shaky economy likely to produce more bankruptcies over the next year or two, consumers would be wise to redeem... More »

Sears Plans Reorganization to Revitalize Biz

Sagging fortunes since 2005 merger with Kmart prompts a shakeup

(Newser) - Foundering retailer Sears is hoping yet another change of course can help it sail out of its financial doldrums after watching its stock value drop in half this year and warning investors fourth-quarter earnings would plummet 57% from a year ago, reports the Wall Street Journal. Chairman Edward Lampert plans... More »

13 Stories