Gap Ending Controversial On-Call Shifts

Say goodbye to on-call shifts at the Gap. (testing / Shutterstock.com)

Say goodbye to on-call shifts at the Gap. (testing / Shutterstock.com)

Doctors should be on call. Psychologists with suicidal patients should be on call. But retail workers? Not so much.

Still, Gap Inc. and other retailers have forced employees to be on call for years — even though many times the shifts are cancelled with little notice. But now, the company says it’s eliminating its on-call policy. Read more »

First Look: Five Below’s Massive New Flagship on Chestnut Street

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The outside of the Five Below flagship location on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th Streets.

By the end of 2015, Five Below will have 436 locations all over the country — but perhaps none will showcase the brand like the one opening soon on Chestnut Street between 15th and 16th Streets in Center City. Not only is it the largest Five Below of all, but it’s also the Philadelphia-based company’s flagship location.

Built at the site of the old Arcadia Theater (constructed in 1915) the store has exposed brick, original crown moldings and high ceilings. Now it’s got an escalator, a lighted Five Below logo in the ceiling and plenty of colorful signage. By its grand opening date of Sept. 10, it’ll be filled with makeup, yoga mats, candy, cell phone cases and all the other wacky stuff it sells for $5-or-under. Read more »

The Suburbanization of Philly: 5 More Stores We Want Now That Target Is Taking Over

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The slow suburbanization of Philly. | Images via Shutterstock, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Wiki Commons.

The reaction to Target’s downtown expansion — a TargetExpress concept is coming to Center City next year; another location is opening in Midtown Village — was swift and overwhelmingly positive. And why wouldn’t it be? As I’ve said before, Target is the one of the last gleaming bastions of shopping efficiency that suburbanites cling to: Sure, you have better restaurants, but we have Target. There was, of course, the expected grumbling about the city’s descent into chain-dom, but I’d argue that even the most staunch naysayers would have to admit: Getting a Target is really pretty awesome.

But it also got me thinking: If one of the reasons we move to the suburbs is convenience — garages, big yards, grocery stores with decent-sized parking lots — what happens when Philly gets suburbanized? And, more importantly, is that what we secretly want?

Apparently, maybe just a little bit. I asked around for people’s dream retail wish list, and the answers point to something devoted city-dwellers might not want to admit: We want to bring the ‘burbs – or at least the shopping perks of the ‘burbs — to Philly. It makes sense: While Philly’s independent boutiques are part of the weird, wild fabric of our city, places like Target are, well, easy. And practicality — resounding, reliable practicality — counts for something.  So, here, in no particular order, are the five stores we’d like to see come to Philly next. The not-sexy, no-frills shops that might not win us any retail awards but would make our lives a hell of a lot easier:  Read more »

Target Announces Location at 12th and Chestnut

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Target will open a store in Midtown Village, the company announced Wednesday night.

The announcement follows last month’s news that the company will build a 21,000-square-foot Target Express — an urban, mini version of its big box stores — at the old Boyd Theatre site on Chestnut Street. Reports at the time said the company was “sniffing around” for a second Center City location. Read more »

Urban Outfitters Reports Record Sales

Urban-Outfitters

Urban Outfitters posted record second-quarter sales and earnings beat expectations.

The Philly-retailer reported sales of $867 million — a 7 percent increase and the company’s highest second-quarter ever. Net sales increased 14 percent at Free People ($154 million), 4 percent at Urban Outfitters ($342 million) and 2 percent at the Anthropologie Group ($370 million). It saw a net increase of four stores and a 21 percent growth in wholesale sales. Read more »

QVC Owner to Pay $2.4 Billion for Online Shopping Site

Mike George, CEO of QVC, will new responsibilities after the deal is completed.

Mike George, CEO of QVC, will new responsibilities after the deal is completed.

QVC is getting a new e-commerce partner.

QVC’s parent company Liberty Interactive Corp. has announced that it will pay $2.4 billion for Zulily, an e-commerce site specializing in limited-time sales of toys, clothes and apparel aimed at millennial moms. The company will join West Chester, Pa.-based QVC Group to bolster its digital e-commerce platform. Read more »

Target Going Gender-Neutral, Internet Explodes

Kelly Martin/Wikimedia Commons

Kelly Martin/Wikimedia Commons

Target has announced a new plan to phase out gender-based signage from its stores — including the removal of pink and blue to denote different toys meant for boys or girls.

“We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the changes. “Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. Read more »

Chobani Founder Invests Big in La Colombe

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La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael frequently seeks out business executives that he respects, so he can pick their brains and learn how they operate. One of them is Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the wildly popular greek yogurt company Chobani.

Soon, the two became fast friends — and La Colombe now makes a coffee brand just for Chobani (and its New York cafe) and the two traveled to Turkey for an episode of Dangerous Grounds, Carmichael’s Travel Channel TV show about hunting for the world’s best coffee beans. Read more »

Beer Sales at Wawa Take Major Step Forward

Beer at Wawa is very close to becoming a reality in Pennsylvania.

Beer at Wawa is very close to becoming a reality in Pennsylvania.

Wawa‘s quest to sell beer at a Delaware County store has taken a major step forward. The Concord Township board of supervisors has ruled that Wawa can sell six-packs at its Concordville, Pa. store on Naamans Creek Road.

Wawa argues that it isn’t asking for special permission. It plans on adding seating and a designated food service area, making the location comply with Pennsylvania’s liquor laws. Alcohol is already available at nearby retailers like Wegmans and Whole Foods. Read more »

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