When it comes to holiday shopping, the Philadelphia region is tightening its belt this season. It’s decreasing its holiday spending by 18 percent compared to last year— but nationally, spending is increasing 12.5 percent.
That’s according to a new study from professional services firm Deloitte, finding that Philadelphia-area consumers expect to spent $1,249 compared to $1,532 in 2014 — a difference of nearly $300. Nationally, spending is set to be $1,462 in 2015. Read more »
This is what Walmart looks like on Thanksgiving. (Gray Thursday KF Walmart/Wikimedia Commons)
Call me old fashioned, but in my day the retail-blitz called Black Friday started on the Friday after Thanksgiving — not on Thanksgiving night. In fact, when I was a kid, you could hardly find any businesses open on Thanksgiving. Maybe a local gas station. And I’m only in my 30s.
But big retail chains decided a few years ago that it was suddenly acceptable to open on Thanksgiving night — meaning thousands of employees were forced to forgo time with family, decline that extra glass of wine and forget kicking back to watch the late NFL game. If they work at Macy’s, Target, Walmart, Toys R’ Us, or plenty of other stores, they’ve got to go to work. Read more »
Get ready for curbside service at Target stores.
Love Target but hate the lines, the long walks through the store and products you don’t need haunting you — eventually making you spend much more money than you intended? Then listen up: Target has just expanded its curbside pickup service to all Philadelphia-area stores.
The retail-giant has been partnering with a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup called Curbside which lets customers buy products on a smartphone app then pick them up outside of Target stores. It’s kind of like Instacart but you still have to leave your house. Read more »
City Sports at 1608 Walnut Street is set for closure. (Photo by Jared Shelly)
City Sports is set to liquidate all its assets and close its 26 locations nationwide — including three in the Philadelphia area. The company filed for bankruptcy in October and was unable to find a buyer willing to keep the stores open.
Philadelphians may know its 1608 Walnut Street location well and customers were shopping there as an alternative to big chains like Dick’s Sporting Goods or Modell’s. Their signature T-shirts were certainly becoming ubiquitous in the region. Read more »
The Ion Belt. (Photo courtesy of Ion Tech Wear.)
The Daddy of the Scrub Daddy is at it again. Three years after inventing the most successful product to ever to emerge from TV’s Shark Tank, Aaron Krause has launched a belt that charges smartphones and other devices. It’s called The Ion Belt. Here’s how it works: Read more »
Urban Outfitters has become the latest retailer to end its controversial on-call scheduling policy in North America. Previously, Urban workers would have to be on-call during some days off — making it difficult to schedule activities in their free time and forcing some to find child care or elder care with very little notice.
“We are always looking for ways to improve, and as such we have decided to end on-call scheduling for all URBN brand associates throughout North America,” a company statement reads. It goes on to say: “Our continued growth requires that we consistently foster a creative, flexible and friendly work environment.” Read more »
Urban Outfitters — known for its hipster-chic clothes and dorm-room-esque decor — made news for all the wrong reasons last week.
Urban sent a message to salaried employees asking for “weekend volunteers” to work at its fulfillment center in Gap, Pa. to help deal with the center’s busiest month to date. But rather than offering employees extra cash to trek out to rural Pennsylvania and pack boxes, the company framed the outing as a “team building activity.” The entire letter was published in this Gawker story.
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Campbell Soup took a bold advertising step this week, releasing a series of commercials featuring non-traditional families.
The ad that’s gotten the most attention features two real-life gay dads. In the commercial, a man is seen feeding his son the company’s new Star Wars-brand chicken noodle soup using the iconic phrase: “I am your father.” Soon after, his partner feeds his son a spoonful of soup and says “No, no, no. I am your father.” Check it out: Read more »
A rendering of the new interior of Philadelphia Mills.
Franklin Mills Mall, wait sorry, Philadelphia Mills has started to undergo phase two of a multi-million dollar renovation project, adding skylights, flooring and most importantly new retailers. (I grew up five minutes from the mall and I’ll always call it Franklin Mills.)
Indoor construction kicked off this week with plans to offer shoppers a lighter, brighter mall, complete with skylights and new lighting, according to owner Simon Property Group. It’s also upgrading restrooms, and adding wifi and lounge areas with device charging stations.
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