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5 Astounding Facts About Walmart's Dominance

Only the DOD and China's military employ more people

(Newser) - Walmart "isn't a unicorn, and it's no longer sexy," Quartz asserts. But there's no denying that the No. 1 company on the Fortune 500 list is a retail powerhouse that seems nearly impossible to overtake. Some astonishing details about how it continues to dominate:
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'Force Friday' Has Arrived

Retailers hold one-day merch event for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' movie

(Newser) - On the fourth of every month, it's easy to find random "May the Fourth be with you" platitudes on social media from Star Wars superfans—but today's "Force Friday" may even lure Jabba the Hutt onto the Internet or into a store on Tatooine. Just after... More »

Logjam at West Coast Ports a Nightmare for Retailers

Big chains struggling to keep inventories in stock amid labor dispute

(Newser) - If you can't find your size in new Levi's this spring, you can blame a logjam of ships at West Coast ports. A labor dispute that's been dragging on for nine months now is taking an unmistakable toll on retailers all over the US, reports the Washington ... More »

Guy in Texas Makes Huge Sums Dumpster-Diving

Matt Malone says he'd make at least $250K annually if he did it full time

(Newser) - Matt Malone has a well-paying security specialist career and owns a promising startup business. Yet if you want to track him down after hours, you'll need to peek inside a bunch of Texas dumpsters. The 37-year-old Austin man told Randall Sullivan, writing for Wired , that he's made a... More »

Why Abercrombie & Fitch Is Bleeding Red Ink

CEO Mike Jeffries hasn't changed with the times, critics say

(Newser) - Abercrombie & Fitch has long lured tons of teenage shoppers into its pricey and exclusive stores—but tastes are changing, sales are slipping, and the company is struggling to reinvent itself, writes Matthew Shaer at New York . The mastermind behind A&F's image is CEO Mike Jeffries, a "... More »

Target Hack Hit Point-of-Sale Terminals: CEO

Plus: At least 3 more top retailers reportedly breached

(Newser) - Victims of the Target hack were hit as they slid their payment cards through point-of-sale terminals, says the company's CEO: That's where hackers placed their malware, Gregg Steinhafel tells CNBC . On Sunday, Dec. 15, the company recognized "we had an issue," and "by six o'... More »

Shopping 'Bill of Rights' Targets Racial Profiling

Rev. Al Sharpton unveils plan in New York City

(Newser) - A bill of rights for black shoppers? New York retailers agree it's worth trying. Pressured by Al Sharpton and civil rights activists, and facing a slow start to the holiday shopping season, big clothing stores in New York City have approved a "Customers' Bill of Rights," the... More »

McDonald's Is Most Visited Business in America

Nearly half of US consumers visited at least once last month, says study

(Newser) - Just how popular are the golden arches? So popular that nearly half of US consumers visited them last month, according to a new study spotted by the Consumerist . The study, from the new Placed Insights service, sought to determine which businesses Americans visit most. Fast food dominates the list, but... More »

It Might Cost a Little More to Use Your Credit Card

Merchants win right to add surcharge in huge case

(Newser) - Retailers scored a big win versus credit card companies yesterday, settling a seven-year-long lawsuit for $6 billion, plus fees relief that could reach $1.2 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal . Visa, MasterCard, and several large banks agreed to the deal, which will give merchants the option of charging customers... More »

Amazon's Next Target: Designer Fashion Sales

Chief exec Jeff Bezos swears he won't undercut retailers

(Newser) - Anxious retailers are watching Amazon penetrate its next big market: high-end, designer clothing. Having already scarred publishers and lowered prices in electronics, Amazon is making a "significant" investment in fashion and wooing designer brands, says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "It's Day 1 in the category," he... More »

'Neo-Nazi' Retailer Names Store After Mass Killer

Thor Steinar's new Brevik shop apparently honors killer of 77

(Newser) - A German retailer popular with neo-Nazis has opened a new store apparently named after right-wing Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik . Thor Steinar last week opened a clothing shop in Chemnitz named "Brevik," sparking cries of outrage. "It is out of the question for a store to... More »

Why Apple Stores Work

Former boss of stores says it's all about customer relationships

(Newser) - Apple Stores’ success is about much more than Apple products; after all, you can get Macs, iPhones, and iPads elsewhere for less money. What draws customers is the fact that an Apple store is “more than a store to people,” writes Apple's former VP of retail, Ron... More »

Retailers Ready Black Friday 'Dogfight' on TV Prices

Get ready for 40% price cuts across the board amid weak demand

(Newser) - Planning to score a new TV on Black Friday? Apparently this is the year to do so, as deals are exploding in what one analyst calls a “dogfight” between top US retailers. Last year, some retailers only slashed prices on high-end TVs. This year, expect to see discounts across... More »

Banks Lose Fight Over Debit Card Fees

Senate fails to delay new rules slicing payments from retailers

(Newser) - The Senate voted today to let the Federal Reserve slice the fees that stores must pay banks each time a customer swipes a debit card, handing merchants a victory over banks in a lobbying battle over billions in revenue. Senators supporting the banks' efforts to head off the proposal fell... More »

Walmart Suffering Biggest-Ever Slump

Execs admit retail giant lost its way

(Newser) - Walmart is suffering its worst-ever slump in US sales and is widely expected to post more disappointing figures when it reports earnings today. Analysts say the retail giant's woes are the result of its failure to follow founder Sam Walton's formula of providing ordinary Americans with "every day low... More »

Welcome to Cyber Sunday

Deals are getting earlier, going later

(Newser) - If Black Friday wasn't enough for you, and Cyber Monday seems just too far away, say hello to Cyber Sunday, reports MSNBC. While one Best Buy marketing honcho thinks Cyber Monday remains a "really viable marketing concept," chains including his are getting an early start today, seeking to... More »

'Christmas' Saviors: We're Winning the War

This year, Dick's Sporting Goods is target of boycott

(Newser) - Dick's Sporting Goods gets the unlucky honor of being this year's villain in the “War on Christmas” campaign. The American Family Association has singled it out for a boycott this holiday season because the chain is “against” the holiday, reports Advertising Age . One of its offenses is having... More »

American Apparel Hires Must Pass the Ugly Test

Head office asks for head-to-toe pics of all applicants

(Newser) - Resumés come a distant second to looks when retail giant American Apparel is making decisions about hiring and firing, an insider tells Gawker . Under a new policy, store managers are required to submit head-to-toe photos of all job applicants as well as those in line for a promotion or... More »

Cold Weather Means Hot Demand for Soup, Boots

Plummeting temperatures lead to marketing opportunities

(Newser) - When the weather turns cold, retailers swing into action, targeting ads toward areas where the mercury's dropping—even in normally temperate markets like Florida. “Marketing into a situation that's favorable for your product” is the key, one analyst tells Advertising Age . Take Campbell’s Soup, which uses a “... More »

Visa Corners Debit Card Market—With Higher Fees

Fees on signature debit purchases boost banks, screw merchants

(Newser) - In a bizarre twist, the intense competition among debit card companies has resulted in a race to higher prices, which benefit banks at the expense of retailers, not to speak of consumers. At issue is whether you sign for that debit purchase or enter your PIN instead—the former costing... More »

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