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Amazing deals on mannequin parts

"i’m really excited about this video……this Sears store is going out of business so we walked around the decaying retail ruins and the perfect song came on and we had a true vaporwave experience" from game developer Porpentine (previously)
posted by codacorolla on Aug 21, 2014 - 32 comments

Hey, dummy!

Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 1, 2014 - 14 comments

It's last call to do your shopping at the last mall

The Guardian on the decline of America's shopping malls. "Dying shopping malls are speckled across the United States, often in middle-class suburbs wrestling with socioeconomic shifts. Some, like Rolling Acres, have already succumbed. Estimates on the share that might close or be repurposed in coming decades range from 15 to 50%. Americans are returning downtown; online shopping is taking a 6% bite out of brick-and-mortar sales; and to many iPhone-clutching, city-dwelling and frequently jobless young people, the culture that spawned satire like Mallrats seems increasingly dated, even cartoonish.

The trend is especially noticeable in the Midwest, a former blue-collar bastion where ailing malls have begun dotting suburban landscapes. Outside of Chicago, Lakehurst Mall was levelled in 2004 and the half-vacant Lincoln Mall is costing its host village millions in botched redevelopment plans. Dixie Square Mall sat vacant for more than 30 years after serving as the backdrop for the iconic chase scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. It was finally demolished in 2012. Many others will similarly lie dormant as they wait for the wrecking ball."
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 19, 2014 - 181 comments

The Frogurt Is Also Cursed

A tumblr detailing how many businesses in NYC are now ...Fro-Yo places.
posted by The Whelk on May 28, 2014 - 148 comments

"I guess [you] don’t care about hard work or loyalty," said the manager.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap
posted by cosmic.osmo on Mar 11, 2014 - 241 comments

By the minute

London's first pay-per-minute café, Ziferblat (photos) costs 3 pence (5 cents) per minute to be there. Part of a chain from Russia. A Moscow cafe for example.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 8, 2014 - 106 comments

Employment Unlocked!

Zero Hours - For a workshop on future London, Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta created 10 Future Londoners for the year 2023. This one describes the working day of 19 year old Nicki, a zero hours retail contractor.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 19, 2013 - 21 comments

"The bloodiest battles took place in the marketing meetings"

Plagued by the realities threatening many retail stores, Sears also faces a unique problem (alternate link): [CEO Eddie] Lampert. Lampert runs Sears like a hedge fund portfolio, with dozens of autonomous businesses competing for his attention and money. An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 12, 2013 - 119 comments

The death of bricks-and-mortar retail

Marc Andreessen predicts the end of traditional retail.
Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 percent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves. There is fundamentally a better model.

posted by beagle on Jan 31, 2013 - 113 comments

Amazon Sounds £13.99

Last One Falling - photographer Amy Connolly documented the last days of a Liverpool branch of HMV whilst working there in 2011, a stark contrast to the images of the flagship store in the sixties and seventies (previously). The chain yesterday announced it was entering administration after 91 years on the high street. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jan 15, 2013 - 29 comments

"I don't think we're overbuilt, I think we're under-demolished."

The Death of the American Shopping Mall "Online retailers are relentlessly gaining share in many retail categories, and offline players are fighting for progressively smaller pieces of the retail pie. A number of physical retailers have already succumbed to online competition including Circuit City, Borders, CompUSA, Tower Records and Blockbuster, and many others are showing signs of serious economic distress. These mall and shopping center stalwarts are closing stores by the thousands, and there are few large physical chains opening stores to take their place. Yet the quantity of commercial real estate targeting retail continues to grow, albeit slowly. Rapidly declining demand for real estate amid growing supply is a recipe for financial disaster."
posted by bookman117 on Dec 29, 2012 - 129 comments

“Lots of people think we’re crazy. But that’s what it takes to get ahead.”

Ron Johnson, who was responsible for Target and Apple's wildly successful retail chains, is now trying to reinvent the department store from the ground up as J. C. Penney's new CEO: divid[ing] stores into 100 shops that [...] will each be like its own small store. Surrounding the shops will be wide aisles that Johnson calls 'streets.' Along those pathways will be ice cream and coffee bars and wood tables with built-in iPad tablet computers that shoppers can use to surf online. But after quarter after quarter of heavy loss, some analysts think Johnson is destroying J. C. Penney. But they've predicted his failure before. More on Johnson's work with the Apple Store. Johnson himself on what he learned building the Apple Store.
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 28, 2012 - 65 comments

The iEconomy

The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 8, 2012 - 16 comments

Uncle Sam's shopping cart rolls into India

After years of severe setbacks, plans gone awry, limited backdoor entry, millions of dollars spent lobbying and a truculent audience, Wal-Mart finally gets a green signal for the Indian market. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in India's retail and aviation sectors as an economic boost. Many are sceptical. The truculence remains. What happens next?
posted by infini on Sep 15, 2012 - 25 comments

Totnes: the town that declared war on Costa Coffee

"Like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest." A town declares war on Costa Coffee.
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 17, 2012 - 58 comments

Buy Design: Meet Paco Underhill, retail anthropologist

"Nothing is in a grocery store is where it is by accident. Every item on a shelf has been planned." Theatrically lit fruits and veggies? Limbic system-triggering flowers up front? Subtle manipulation of the shopping path? Meet Paco Underhill, master of the science of shopping, author, and founder of a consulting firm that specializes in advising companies on how small changes in retail environments can add up to increased sales. Think of him as a tour guide (YT, from his firm) who explains how these spaces are designed and why we fall for it. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Aug 10, 2012 - 42 comments

Some Shoppers Are More Equal Than Others

Supermarkets are attempting to customize prices for different shoppers. At a Safeway in Denver, a 24-pack of Refreshe bottled water costs $2.71 for Jennie Sanford, a project manager. For Emily Vanek, a blogger, the price is $3.69. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 10, 2012 - 164 comments

The death of non-specialist retail or Kozmo 2.0?

How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail.
posted by Pope Guilty on Jul 13, 2012 - 184 comments

Time To Corner The Market On Passenger Jet Wing Assemblies!

Economies of Scale is a free, web-based multiplayer business/commerce simulation game under development by Scott Rubyton (aka Ratan Joyce). Players use starting capital to build production/wholesale/retail businesses from the ground up in a basic economic model, competing for market share while collaborating through business-to-business trading of goods and materials. It's more fun than getting an MBA! Also much less expensive. [more inside]
posted by cortex on Apr 3, 2012 - 60 comments

Don't take it personally

"I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine"
posted by vidur on Feb 27, 2012 - 242 comments

A bunch of guys standing around trying to sound like a Kevin Smith movie but failing because they're not as clever

Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2012 - 112 comments

"If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they want the romance section."

25 Things I Learned from Opening a Bookstore.
posted by jeremy b on Jan 28, 2012 - 140 comments

Don’t Support Your Local Bookseller

Farhad Manjoo of Slate argues that buying books from Amazon is better than buying from local bookstores.
posted by reenum on Dec 15, 2011 - 183 comments

Can you give us a hand with a little research?

Amazon has recently declared that tomorrow is Price Check day. If you go into a brick and mortar retail store with Amazon’s new Price Check App on your smart phone, and scan a barcode with the location settings active, and then report back to Amazon on the price of that product, Amazon will deduct $5 from your online purchase of that product. Amazon claims it’s trying to keep prices low for consumers, but others attribute the move to a less innocuous agenda. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 9, 2011 - 143 comments

Subtext, meet text.

"Too many people are out of work, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Many are lacking health insurance and foregoing staples that in different times were a given. So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours. Be grateful to have a job." [more inside]
posted by mightygodking on Nov 24, 2011 - 235 comments

Bullseye

A while back, Gawker broke the story of a former manager suing Target as part of a series about life at the notoriously anti-union store. Since then many more employees have come forward with stories about "The sketchiest place I've ever worked." (Target Previously)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 23, 2011 - 141 comments

They're not Tesco's. They're mine.

Tesco usually sells Terry's Chocolate Oranges for £2.75. Yet, in a scene reminiscent of US show Extreme Couponing, a UK 'daily deals' site discovered a glitch that meant shoppers got them for 29p each. And boy howdy, did they get them.
posted by mippy on Oct 14, 2011 - 74 comments

Cosmopolitan Corner

A look inside HMV's flagship store on London's Oxford Street. 1960s. 1970s. After a troubled year for the record chain, here's how the same building looks today.
posted by mippy on Aug 27, 2011 - 42 comments

Wrap yourself in silken stones

Richard Weston is not only a professor of architecture at Cardiff University. He is now a fashion designer. Being interviewed by Vogue. Beautiful Weston silk scarves printed with scans of minerals, fossils and stones are now on sale at London's historic department store Liberty. [more inside]
posted by likeso on May 18, 2011 - 5 comments

Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game

A new brand of super shoppers use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
posted by reenum on Dec 3, 2010 - 126 comments

The prints left behind

Labelscar aims to chronicle the ghostboxes of America - the stripped carcasses of malls and out-of-town retail parks left over once the forclosure buzzards have moved in. And there's a lot of them about. (On the endangered list). [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 7, 2010 - 26 comments

You buy one, you get one free - I say you buy one, you get one free

A Which? survey has found that supermarket deals actually offer a worse price for the customer. But to the vigilant folk of Flickr, this is old news. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Sep 29, 2010 - 50 comments

Mooing Vuitton in the verdant fields of a mall.

"What was lost in the realm of economic exchange is reclaimed in the realm of cultural/semiotic performance. Branding also identifies the product relative to the chain of signifiers constituting its brand “family,” in the same way that ranchers brand livestock with the sign of their ranch." [via]
posted by nickrussell on Sep 15, 2010 - 11 comments

There is no try.

Tan Le shows off a headset that reads your brainwaves in action. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jul 23, 2010 - 34 comments

"Screw You Guys, I'm Goin' Home"

How to Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites Also: Delete Your Account. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 11, 2010 - 25 comments

Fashion versus Clothes

Two articles about successful clothes retailers - Uniqlo and Abercrombie & Fitch - that are both full of interesting tidbits ("Uniqlo is a company that prescribes, records, and analyzes every activity undertaken by every employee, from folding technique to the way advisers return charge cards to customers. Japanese style, with two hands and full eye contact"). In addition, the two articles have a lot to say about branding and what companies place importance on - with A&F coming across as a typical fashion retailer, aggressively selling and marketing a very specific look, and Uniqlo seeming to be doing something quite different and contrary to received wisdom. [more inside]
posted by Sifter on May 15, 2010 - 44 comments

“Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina."

After decades of selling tampons and "sanitary products" with ads containing nebulous, euphemistic images and language, Kotex launched a new product line, 'U by Kotex' and a 'Declaration of Real Talk Campaign' to encourage girls and women to speak about menstruation without embarrassment. Ironically, their ad was rejected by the major US television networks for mentioning the word 'vagina'. Here's the 'safe for the viewing public' version. / YT channel. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2010 - 193 comments

Slashing...prices?

In a story broken by the New York Times, unsold clothes were found in trash bags outside of H&M and Wal-Mart, apparently cut up so as to be unwearable, in a city with 16,000 homeless people currently in the midst of a recession and a very cold winter. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jan 10, 2010 - 284 comments

Who needs the Kwik-E-mart? Not me.

Re-inhabited Circle Ks - an exhibit of identical storefronts abandoned by a national chain of convenience stores and re-purposed by new businesses. [more inside]
posted by mullacc on Nov 10, 2009 - 61 comments

Dark Stores

The recession has seen the closure of many stores - from small local outfits to famous longstanding chains. Brian Ulrich's Dark Stores chronicles the ghostboxes of America, and the Guardian's Recession Monitor Flickr pool shows the view from the other side of the Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 28, 2009 - 16 comments

The Seven Types of Bookstore Customer

Hoping to work his way around to describing the graphic novel bookstore he wants to open some day, big box bookstore employee the Rocket Bomber has made strides in natural history by delineating the seven types of bookstore clients. Some snark in the comments has led to a followup post with additional how-to-run-a-bookstore musings.
posted by shothotbot on Jun 10, 2009 - 108 comments

Here today, gone tomorrow

Pop up shops have been popping up, well, pretty much everywhere. And pop up restaurants. And pop up art galleries. While the trend started long before the current retail downturn, and looks set to continue as companies strive to create interest in their products and services, will creative spontaneity start to look a little bit too planned and evolve into a mainstream retail channel?
posted by MuffinMan on May 6, 2009 - 10 comments

The final hours of Circuit City

The final hours of Circuit City. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 9, 2009 - 135 comments

Astro-turf from Walmart?

Ernest Kirschner, a 61-year-old business owner from East Haddam, is among thousands of Connecticut residents who may become the new voice of Walmart. When the Benton, Ark.-based retailer formed its own "support group," the New England Customer Action Network, Kirschner signed up eagerly. "I would stick up for Wal-Mart as strong as I can," said Kirschner, a frequent shopper. "I really think they've gotten an unfair shake." Wal-Mart Forms Customer 'Support Group' To Counter Opponents [more inside]
posted by longsleeves on Nov 14, 2008 - 21 comments

Roberts Supremes reverses 100 years of antitrust law

There's been much talk about the Supreme's decisions on desegregation and free speech, but another ruling with broad consumer impact has gone relatively unnoticed. In a 5-4 decision [PDF], the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 96-year-old ban on minimum pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers. Dissenting opinion believes that this ruling will hurt consumers, raise prices and keep new retailers out of the marketplace. The 1911 ruling that was overturned was Dr. Miles Medical Co. vs. John D. Park & Sons which decided that it is always illegal for a supplier to dictate minimum prices to a retailer.
posted by dejah420 on Jun 29, 2007 - 47 comments

Akami Web Visualizations

Akamai's Internet Visualizations. Akamai is a major mirroring and caching service which serves up a large chunk of all internet traffic. They are now sharing some pretty visualizations based on their data which used to be customer only. News. Music. Retail. Real-time Web Monitor . Network Performance Comparison. Visualizing Akami.
posted by srboisvert on Jun 7, 2007 - 19 comments

107 'Add to Shopping Cart' Buttons

Add to Cart, Buy, Buy Now, Add to Brown Bag? 107 clickable shopping cart buttons on one page. Most popular colour: red. I only recognize the Amazon button--clearly I need to hone my online shopping-fu.
posted by dbarefoot on May 15, 2007 - 17 comments

Think of it as evolution in action.

Little Citadels. "Dine, shop, live, work, and be entertained in a unique and alluring environment," says the Time Warner Center website - all without ever stepping outside your gleaming Manhattan skyscraper. San Jose's Santana Row, which at first glance seemed no more than a Beverly Center you can live in, is now being compared favorably to urban European living. And MGM-Mirage's new, mysterious and costly ($7 billion!) Project CityCenter brings the trend to Las Vegas - with gambling, of course. They're not Arcosantis - and they don't, as yet, require an Oath of Fealty - but by all accounts they're thriving. What do they have in common? Wealthy tenants, megacorporate sponsors, and a shared desire to integrate efficient, conspicuous consumption into every aspect of civic life. Paolo Soleri may have been right after all - maybe he just forgot to account for the effects of capitalism.
posted by ikkyu2 on Aug 28, 2006 - 24 comments

Best Buy? OR Worst Buy? You decide!

Best Buy to offer CDs by indie artists for $7.99. "Choose from 20 impress-your-friends selections" at below wholesale price. What does this mean to you and me? Responses from Carrot Top Distribution and Merge Records.
posted by ludwig_van on Jan 27, 2006 - 40 comments

unite and take over

If you shop at Urban Outfitters a $10/hour manager will accuse you of stealing. Or something.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Dec 19, 2005 - 96 comments

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