retail

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Employees Say Kmart Is on Its Last Legs

Company says it's 'focused on restoring profitability'

(Newser) - Kmart says it's "focused on restoring profitability to the company." Employees say it's preparing to declare bankruptcy within a year. As Business Insider reports, Kmart—which has seen sales plummet to less than a third of what they were in 2000—is clearing out stock rooms,... More »

Walmart Is No Longer World's Largest Retailer

The new king: Alibaba

(Newser) - Walmart is no longer king of the retail castle. Alibaba says it surpassed Walmart's $482.1 billion in annual gross merchandise volume during its last fiscal year. Alibaba has yet to reveal its figures but says it reached about $476 billion 10 days before its fiscal year ended on... More »

US Retail Workers Stole $16.6B From Employers This Year

Theft by employees a bigger problem in the US than elsewhere

(Newser) - The good news: Stores in the US lose less revenue to shoplifting than their counterparts in other countries. The bad news: Retail workers in the US are doing more of the stealing themselves … to the tune of $16.6 billion during the past year, according to Checkpoint Systems' Global... More »

8 Iconic Stores That Have Disappeared

From Filene's Basement to Tower Records

(Newser) - This week, Radioshack announced the closing of some 1,100 stores, prompting speculation as to whether it will go the way of Blockbuster. That reminds a nostalgic Caitlin Dewey at the Washington Post of the key stores of yesteryear that just aren't there anymore:
  1. After more than 100 years,
... More »

Discounts Are Kind Of ... a Lie

Most items that are 'on sale' were designed to sell at that price

(Newser) - If you couldn't bring yourself to rush out and do battle on Black Friday, no need to feel like you missed out: The discounts you'd be seeing if you were at the mall right now are what the Wall Street Journal calls "retail theater." Stores are... More »

Chill Out, Activists: Working Black Friday Is Fun

There are other ways to fight for retail employees: Angela Harmon

(Newser) - People like to hate on Black Friday and its gradual encroachment onto Thanksgiving, often "offering righteous indignation on behalf of retail workers who can’t spend the holiday with their families," writes Angela Harmon on Salon . But as a former retail employee who volunteered to work the midnight... More »

Do Not Buy These 6 Things on Black Friday

24/7 Wall St. lists the worst deals of retail's busiest day

(Newser) - You may be looking to spend less this holiday season—a Gallup poll says buyers will shell out an average $704 on presents, down from $770 last year—so 24/7 Wall St. wants to help you out. In order to get the most bang for your buck this Black Friday,... More »

Best Buy 'Deserves to Die'

It's had a big turnaround, for no reason that Matthew Yglesias could find in the store

(Newser) - Best Buy is back from the brink. Profits are up, costs are down, and the share price has tripled since December. That's the good news. "The bad news," writes Matthew Yglesias at Slate , "is that the store is awful and deserves to die." Yglesias and... More »

Your Phone Is Helping Stores Spy on You

Retailers tracking your location, patterns

(Newser) - These days, it's not just online retailers that are tracking consumers' every move: Physical stores are doing it, too, thanks to video footage and the smartphone in your pocket. Companies want to know which customers are returning, which sections they're visiting, and even which way they turn after... More »

Tax-Free Online Shopping Hits the Chopping Block

Senate votes 74 to 20 to take up bill that could spell the end

(Newser) - The halcyon days of widespread tax-free online shopping may be numbered. The Senate yesterday voted 74 to 20 to take up a bill that would let states require Internet retailers to collect sales tax, the AP reports. It could be passed within the week, though it may have a tougher... More »

Walmart's Problem: More Stores, Fewer Employees

Products, staff, customers disappearing from the aisles

(Newser) - Walmart's shelves are looking empty these days, and it's not because the product isn't available: The company simply doesn't have enough employees to restock them, store workers tell Bloomberg . The big blue retail behemoth has added 455 US stores over the past five years, but its... More »

Coming to a Mall Near You: Google?

It's considering retail stores, but no word on where, or when

(Newser) - First Microsoft jumped on the retail-store bandwagon; now Apple stores could face another rival. Google is considering opening its own retail stores, sources tell the Wall Street Journal , but we may not see them for quite a while. An insider says the company may not move on the plan this... More »

US Retail Sales Jumped 1.1% in September

iPhone 5 plays big role

(Newser) - Americans stepped up their retail spending in September, reflecting stronger sales of autos, electronics, and building supplies. Retail sales rose 1.1% last month, the Commerce Department said today. That followed a 1.2% increase in August, which was revised slightly higher. Both were the largest gains since October 2010.... More »

AT&T Builds Huge Apple-Esque Store

Chicago store will be 10,000 square feet, show off more than phones

(Newser) - AT&T is revamping its retail strategy in grand style, with a new 10,000-square-foot flagship store on Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" that will show off not just phones and tablets, but fitness applications and even "smartcar" features, Bloomberg reports. Apple comparisons are inevitable, but "we are... More »

In Price War With Walmart, Target Pulls Ahead

Cuts in food prices give Target biggest lead ever

(Newser) - Watch for falling prices, Walmart—they might hit you. Target had lower prices than its arch-rival this month for the first time since October, research from Bloomberg has concluded. Indeed, Target won out by the largest margin yet seen in the two years Bloomberg has been tracking the numbers. The... More »

Why June's Falling Retail Sales Matter

Because drop marks the first 3-month decline since 2008

(Newser) - Americans cut their spending at retail businesses for a third straight month, as a weak job market has made consumers more cautious. The Commerce Department says retail sales fell 0.5% in June from May. That followed declines of 0.2% and 0.5% in the previous two months. It... More »

Neiman Marcus Joins Forces With ... Target

Rodarte, Derek Lam among designers participating

(Newser) - Move over Oscar and Felix: There's a new odd couple in town. Neiman Marcus and Target yesterday announced that they're teaming up this holiday season, with plans to offer 50-plus limited-edition items from big name designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs, reports the Wall Street Journal ... More »

10 Ways Wal-Mart Changed Our Lives

Charles Fishman's book 'The Wal-Mart Effect' inspires Time's list

(Newser) - Wal-Mart has transformed America's retail landscape with its shocking scope and unrivaled profits. On the plus side, the mega-retailer employs over 2.1 million workers—more than the population of 15 states and Columbia—and banked $443 billion in the last fiscal year. But it has also depressed wages... More »

Best Buy Cans 650 Geek Squad Employees

Company says it's 'evolving in-home support'

(Newser) - Best Buy is axing 650 members of its Geek Squad, the group of repair specialists that travels to people's homes to fix their electronics. The retailer isn't doing away with its repair service entirely, though; those getting the boot will be Geeks who serviced appliances and televisions. "... More »

The High Cost of Cheap Clothes

Elizabeth Kline, author of Overdressed, explains the perils of cheap chic

(Newser) - Fast fashion is the new fast food. That's the argument Elizabeth Kline makes in her new book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, and Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon agrees. The average American buys 64 articles of clothing a year—more than there are weeks in the... More »

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