Late May/June is my favorite shopping season. Retailers are starting to clearance spring and summer clothing, even though there’s plenty of warm weather left here in Oklahoma. I like to buy my boys a few new things to wear now and stock up for next summer. Since we wear T-shirts 9 months out of the year, my spring/summer clearance finds get a lot of wear. Some sales I’ve seen so far include The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, Uptown Kids and Nordstrom‘s Half-Yearly sale (no stores here but free shipping and free returns online.) I’m sure others will start advertising sales soon.
Thanks to my lovely readers, the fourth metro area Dick’s Sporting Goods location will be in Oklahoma City on SW 3 between Rockwell and MacArthur. I can’t be everywhere so I greatly appreciate readers writing in! I’m told construction has begun and they have a sign up – so it astounds me that Dick’s still won’t talk about it. Someone please send me a photo! If you missed the story, read it here.
The Wall Street Journal had this article today on how malls are using their play areas to draw shoppers and compete with online retailers.
Here’s an excerpt: The once-humble play area is one of shopping malls’ new secret weapons. In their bid to keep shoppers from deserting to the Internet, more malls are adding restaurants and services like hair salons and fitness clubs that provide things that the Internet can’t. New play areas can create lively public spaces while keeping a key constituent—parents—happy.
Hey Penn Square Mall: hint, hint. Sincerely, a mom.
A new survey by America’s Research Group found the number of Americans delaying shopping until Memorial Day weekend at an all-time high. Twenty-one percent of shoppers surveyed last month said they were delaying their shopping plans until Memorial Day weekend, compared to 11 percent a year ago.
“This used to be an effect that was the private reserve of ‘Black Friday,’” said America’s Research Group chairman Britt Beemer. “Those retailers who offer early bird specials and open early on Memorial Day — yes, a la Black Friday — will see the best sales and the highest spending levels. The closer you come to creating ‘Black Friday’ the better your sales will be.”
I’ll be appliance shopping that weekend, and I won’t be alone. What are you waiting to buy?
Oklahoma City’s fashion sense will be kicked up a notch this week when Liberte opens in the Classen Curve shopping center. I got a sneak peek at the store Monday and it’s like the exotic, worldly sister to Balliet’s. Think glamorous designer clothes from Europe and South America stacked on modern, acrylic shelves and accented by a stunning chandelier. Check out the story on Thursday’s retail page and get ready for Liberte’s grand opening on Friday.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for about 21,000 inflatable Banzai in-ground pool water slides. The slides can deflate during use, causing injury, and are unstable. A 29-year-old Colorado mother died in Andover, Mass., after fracturing her neck while using one of the slides. Two other serious injuries have been reported, including a 24-year-old man from Springfield, Mo. who became a quadriplegic and a woman from Allentown, Pa. who fractured her neck.
Stop using the product immediately, the CPSC says. Consumers can return the slide to Toys R Us or Walmart for a full refund. They can cut the two safety warnings from the product and return just that portion.
Here’s a description of the product from the CPSC’s website:
“The recall involves Banzai in-ground pool water slides designed for use with in-ground pools. The vinyl slides have a blue base, yellow sliding mat and an arch going over the top of the slide. By connecting a hose to the top of the slide, water can be sprayed on its downward slope. The words ‘Banzai Splash’ are printed in a circular blue, orange and white logo, shaped like a wave on either side of the slide.”
The slides were sold at Toys R Us and Walmart stores for about $250 from January 2005 through June 2009. The recalled slides have the barcode number 2675315734 and model number 15734.
For more information, click here.
A South Gate, Calif., Walmart employee is calling on the resignations of company leaders because of allegations the company used bribery to expand in Mexico and lied to cover it up. Venanzi Luna’s petition on change.org now has over 13,000 signatures. She’s asking for Wal-mart CEO Mike Duke and Chairman Rob Walton to step down and for an investigation to be launched.
Luna, a department manager and company shareholder, is quoted as saying: “While I am working hard, I’m hearing that they’re risking our company by lying and cheating,” she says. “No one, no matter how rich and powerful they are, should get away with bribery.”
The alleged scandal was detailed in a New York Times report available here.
There was an interesting article recently on Yahoo! Finance titled “7 Compulsive Shopping Traps We Fall Into” describing the ways we get hung up on “deals” and shop for sport. Read it here. I’m guilty of this one: “clearance sale fever.” I love shopping after the holidays and stocking up for next year. I know Christmas, Halloween, and every other holiday are going to predictably roll around year after year and the merchandise is pretty much the same. Why not stock up at half price? Not only did I buy a Christmas tree and Halloween decor on seasonal clearance but I used half-price Valentine’s Day goodies for my pink-and-silver themed April wedding! However, I don’t consider it a trap because it’s all useful to me and I enjoy decorating for the holidays that much more knowing I scored it all on clearance. What “shopping trap” are you guilty of?
Target has long been supportive of gay rights through its sponsorship of the Twin Cities Pride festivities in Minneapolis and its corporate policies protecting gay and lesbian employees. But the retailer came under fire a couple of years ago for a controversial political donation and for suing a gay marriage group for picketing outside its San Diego store.
This month, Target will release new Pride month merchandise, including beach towels, water bottles and a Harajuku Mini T-shirt featuring a rainbow design and the phrase “Love is Love.” The products will be sold on target.com beginning May 20.
Here’s the logo:
I’m curious how this will be received in a red state such as Oklahoma. Will Target alienate conservatives? Or win back support from the gay community? Or both? It’s impossible to make every consumer happy but I’m surprised a major retailer such as Target would make such a bold statement.
I love the quote I got from Josh Harney, who is on the board of directors of OKC Pride: “‘Love is love’ is not a controversial message,” he said. “It’s just equality.”
Comment below if you support Target or if the issue has you seeing red.
Stefan Larsson, 37, most recently head of global sales for H&M, has been named the new president of Gap, Inc.’s, Old Navy brand. He will join the company in October. He succeeds Tom Wyatt, who resigned in February.
Read more on the story here.