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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
Happy Thanksgiving or Is It?
, Franklin Delano Roosevelt responed to pressure from the National Retail Dry Goods Association to move the official date of Thanksgiving back one week to the next-to-last Thursday of the month. FDR hoped that this would enliven the economy by adding one week to the Christmas shopping season, but he received considerable political flak
for tampering with what many viewed as a sacred religious holiday. (Thanksgiving is considered sacred even though it only became a national holiday due to lobbying by the editor of a 19th century woman's magazine
.) New Deal-era Republicans were especially bothered by the calendar change and one essayist at the American Enterprise Institute
still seems to carry a grudge. Congress later resolved the issue by passing a resolution in 1941
that designated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November.
posted by jonp72
on Nov 26, 2002 -