18 Stories

Finally, a Lane for Those Irked by Slow Walkers

It's coming to Liverpool, folks

(Newser) - If you don't enjoy getting stuck behind slow walkers while shopping, you're not alone—and you might consider a trip to the UK to try out the country's first ever fast lane for pedestrians being tested this week in the Liverpool One shopping complex, reports the Telegraph... More »

In Some Stores, Mannequins Are Watching You

Trend is new, but one maker is already selling 'bionic' ones

(Newser) - Here's something to creep out your shopping experience: Store mannequins might be watching your every move. Bloomberg reports that Italian mannequin-maker Almax has begun selling a version whose eyes are cameras. This isn't about trying to curb shoplifting, though. The idea is to more closely track shoppers' likes... More »

Blizzard Delays $1B in Retail Spending

Stores should see a bounce when the streets are cleared

(Newser) - The blizzard that swept through the Northeast delayed $1 billion in retail spending, according to research firm ShopperTrak. Despite that hit, it won't derail a holiday shopping season expected to be the best since 2007. About $10 billion in retail sales usually occurs Dec. 26-27, ShopperTrak says, and bad weather... More »

After-Christmas Shoppers Swarm Stores

This holiday season the best for retailers since 2007

(Newser) - The holiday shopping season continued to be a merry one for retailers, as shoppers packed stores yesterday searching for post-Christmas sales. An East Coast snowstorm daunted some—but not all—shoppers; even so, execs weren't concerned. "People will just wait a day to do exchanges and use their gift... More »

Shoppers Pack Stores for Christmas Eve

'Fantastic Friday' caps best retail season since 2007

(Newser) - A late holiday shopping spree led shoppers to stores in droves, giving a fantastic finish to what is already the best holiday season for retail since 2007, the AP reports. Sales are expected to reach $451.5 billion overall this year, a 3.3% higher gross than last year. "... 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 »

Black Friday Sees Strong Crowds, Picky Shoppers

Early reports suggest a decent start to the holiday retail season

(Newser) - It will take a few days for the Black Friday sales numbers to be crunched, but early indications show a decent, if unspectacular, shopping day. A retailer trade group reported "strong crowds" across the board, notes Bloomberg , with high-def TVs, laptops, winter coats, and those ubiquitous Zhu Zhu hamsters... More »

How Should Wal-Mart Handle Blog Ridicule? Ignore It

No right move on 'People of Walmart' pics of fashion misses

(Newser) - A wildly popular new blog mocks Wal-Mart and its customers, and encourages others to join in by uploading their own photos and comments. So what should the retail giant do? Nothing, writes BL Ochman in Advertising Age. The site—People of Walmart—isn't “likely to do lasting damage to... More »

Ho-Ho-Hold on a Minute, Xmas in July?

Stores launch summer promotions to snag holiday dollars early

(Newser) - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in malls across the country as stores angle for some extremely early holiday dollars, the Wall Street Journal reports. Retailers like Toys'R'US, Sears and Kmart have dragged Santa away from his summer break and launched July Christmas promotions, hoping to boost sales... More »

Marketers Bank on Women in Recession

(Newser) - Some recession-wary companies are marketing more to women these days, the Economist reports. After all, women make more than 80% of discretionary buys in America, and are more loyal, product-plugging (or bashing) customers. But one expert says the strategy could turn off male buyers in traditionally masculine marketing areas like... More »

French Cashier Tells All, Cashes In

Best seller gently critiques rude shoppers

(Newser) - After 8 years of being ignored, a French grocery store cashier has forced bad-mannered shoppers to take notice. Anne Sam's best-seller, Tribulations of a Cashier, has become a sensation, with comic book, movie, and musical adaptations forthcoming, the Washington Post reports. And Sam has quit her day job to write,... More »

China Embraces Credit Cards

Untapped market prompts banks to aggressively market plastic

(Newser) - Banks are moving to tap China’s lucrative market for credit cards, issuing millions in new plastic in recent years, the Los Angeles Times reports. There are about 100 million credit cards today in China, up from 3 million in 2003. And the market is still tiny, by American standards:... 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 »

iPhone 3G Faithful Already Lining Up in NYC

Customers queue up 6 days ahead of new release

(Newser) - The next-generation iPhone won't ring up sales until Friday, but eager shoppers are already lining up outside Apple’s flagship New York store. Ready with chairs and other gear, ten people have a head-start, and may be smarter than they look: For this release, customers must activate their 3G phones... More »

Feeling Lethal? SkyMall Catolog Has Just the Thing

Merchandise can take a sinister turn, given the right mood

(Newser) - Browsing airplane catalogs already hints at a certain crazed desperation. But just in case that yapping businessman on your flight pushes you into a homicidal rage, Jezebel points out that SkyMall merch can also facilitate murder (first, allow 4-6 weeks for delivery):
  1. Lawn Aerator Sandals: 1.5-inch spikes covering the
... 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 »

'Retail Renting' or Stealing? Stores Crack Down

Shoppers who repeatedly buy and return merchandise face tougher policies

(Newser) - It’s called “wardrobing” or “retail renting,” when a consumer buys, uses, and then returns merchandise, and the National Retail Federation says it’s growing more popular with shoppers, the Boston Globe reports. It's also becoming a bigger headache for merchants as the economy tightens and businesses... More »

18 Stories