December 22, 2012 |
With three days left until Christmas, last-minute shoppers are surging into malls in a mad dash for gifts as retailers extend store hours and trot out steep discounts in a final holiday-season push. Merchants are hoping procrastinators will give them a boost this weekend. Many stores saw a worrying drop in sales in recent weeks after a robust start on Black Friday. Several are rolling out promotions as they try to make up for lost steam. Toys R Us stores nationwide began an 88-hour, all-day-all-night marathon Friday that continues until 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. Macy's is welcoming shoppers for 48 straight hours at most of its stores on this final weekend before Christmas.
December 15, 2012 |
Just putting a price on a product and sticking it on a shelf is so old school. And with consumers buying more online each year, bricks-and-mortar retailers are working harder to add entertainment to their mix - from American Girl's scavenger hunts to the Art of Shaving's product demonstrations. These experiences are something consumers can't get from online shopping. "You can buy a product just about everywhere. They are trying to add a different element so it is not just about the product," said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL/Strategic Retail, a retail strategy firm in New York.
December 13, 2012 |
The holiday crunch is on at the mall, and Toys R Us is opening all its stores for 88 straight hours until Christmas Eve. And, for the first time, Macy's is staying open at most stores for 48 hours nonstop the final weekend before Christmas. In the rush to woo shoppers, merchants this year are upping the ante. Banana Republic is giving away six Fiat cars. Kohl's is picking up the tab for a shopper in each of its stores every day until Christmas Eve. And Sport Chalet will have a scuba-diving Santa at some of its stores Saturday.
December 12, 2012 |
A young masked man, bent on a mission of destruction and death, entered an Oregon mall and opened fire, turning the holiday shopping season into a chaotic horror that could have been much worse, police officials said Wednesday. Police identified the shooter as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, who killed two people and seriously wounded a third before turning a weapon on himself and ending his life Tuesday afternoon, officials said. The man entered the Clackamas Town Center, a popular suburban mall several miles from downtown Portland, on Tuesday afternoon.
December 10, 2012 |
First there was surfing Santa Claus and hockey-playing Santa. Now St. Nick is strapping on an oxygen tank to take photos underwater with shoppers at Sport Chalet. The sporting goods chain, based in La Canada, is offering customers a free photo op with a scuba diving Santa on Dec. 15. at several stores including locales in Irvine, La Canada and Rancho Cucamonga. "All this is required is a smile, swimsuit, and towel," the company said in a statement. The scuba diving is limited to those 10 years old and over, although younger kids hoping to gurgle a few Christmas wishes can opt to snorkel with the big guy in the red suit.
HOME & GARDEN
December 6, 2012 |
Fast fashion retailer H&M wants your old clothes. The Swedish clothier is rolling out a global initiative to encourage its shoppers to recycle unwanted outfits instead of throwing them in the trash, H&M said in a statement Thursday. "Every year, tons of textiles are thrown out with domestic waste and end up in landfill. As much as 95% of these clothes could be used again; re-worn, reused or recycled - depending on the state of the garment," H&M said. H&M will accept clothing from any brand in any condition (now might be a good time to bring out the stained sweatshirts and dozens of cotton T-shirts)
November 29, 2012 |
Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the grand opening of Washington, D.C.'s first Costco Thursday morning, meeting with co-founder Jim Sinegal and CEO Craig Jelinek and most importantly, searching for pies. Biden, who re-activated his Costco membership yesterday, declared “I'm looking for pies” as soon as he got a cart, perusing the bakery's offerings while shoppers gathered around him. Biden, who also gathered a number of children's books intended for a charity in Delaware, resisted attempts by employees to bring him into the tire department, saying “Hey man, I don't need tires.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2012 |
The salesmen at the Spring Street Arcade spend their day gazing out at a city that's passing them by. All around, a trendy downtown is on the rise - pet stores selling gourmet dog chews, chic bars with ginger and juniper soda cocktails, a new generation of mostly young residents jogging in spandex and cruising on bikes. But inside the 88-year-old shopping arcade, with its giant curved skylight, arched Spanish Renaissance entryways and Beaux Arts exterior, many of the stores are vacant, and the remaining merchants seem stuck in another era. Bargain-rate clothes, toys, suitcases and DVDs share shelf space with dusty boomboxes and T-shirts from '90s rock bands like Korn and Nirvana.
November 27, 2012 |
Consumers hopped online for some more Internet shopping on Cyber Monday after last week's post-Thanksgiving Black Friday frenzy came to a close. Many started early this year: Online spending on Black Friday topped $1 billion for the first time as some shoppers turned to their computers instead of braving the crowds in person. Cyber Monday is "the Super Bowl of online shopping," said Jonathan Johnson, president of bargain site Overstock.com. As of late afternoon, the site's traffic was up compared with last year's Cyber Monday, he said, but it was too early to predict how the entire day's sales would shake out. In the last few years, he said, Cyber Monday shoppers with high-speed Web access have started browsing Overstock at home after a day at the office.
November 27, 2012 |
After the shopping binge of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, charities are encouraging consumers to give back in a newly minted day called Giving Tuesday. Charities and nonprofits across the country are rolling out fundraising drives and recruiting volunteers for the day after Cyber Monday, which this year is expected to break records to become the biggest-ever Web shopping day. Early reports said online sales jumped 28.4% from the same day last year, according to IBM Benchmark. Giving Tuesday organizers hope that shoppers who splurged on themselves will embrace a day dedicated to giving back.