From merchandising and advertising to real estate and technology, business reporters offer insight into the latest trends and people that define today’s top retailers.

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Some retailers pull back on last-minute shipping guarantees

Posted by: Kavita Kumar Updated: October 27, 2014 - 12:20 PM

Retailers will push shoppers to not be such procrastinators this holiday season -- at least when it comes to placing online orders after last year’s shipping snafu.

About 79 percent of retailers will set their standard shipping deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery to expire at least a week before the holiday, compared to 74 percent who said they would do so last year, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.

And about 21 percent will set deadlines to expire Dec. 19 or later, compared to 26.3 percent who said they would do so last year.

The earlier deadlines are a response to last year’s debacle in which the shipping system was overwhelmed by the bevy of last-minute orders that led to millions of holiday gifts that were not delivered in time for the Christmas deadline. Aggressive shipping promotions by retailers up until the very end didn't help, either.

“It’s important to remember that the 2013 holiday season was impacted by a multitude of factors that affected the supply chain in the days leading up to Christmas, including bad weather and a shortened holiday calendar,”  Vicki Cantrell, Shop.org’s executive director, said in a statement. “That said, retailers and their delivery partners this year are proactively planning to make sure they meet customer expectations for delivery and customer service.”

The caution this year also comes at a time when UPS and FedEx are being more proactive in talking to retailers about what is realistic. UPS, for example, has been pushing retailers to hold their biggest sales in mid-December and to banish overnight shipping offers on Dec. 23, according to the Wall Street Journal

Some retailers have -- sort of -- listened. Nordstrom has moved back its guaranteed-to-arrive-by-Christmas deadline by three hours to noon on Dec. 23. But others desperate to bring in as much holiday sales as possible have extended their deadline. JCPenney, for example, is guaranteeing standard shipping orders before midnight on Dec. 20, up three days from last year, the Journal reported.

Miami DJ sues Target for injury after he hoards Jason Wu collection

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: March 31, 2014 - 10:39 AM

Do you get the feeling that Target is bleeding under water and sharks are feeding on the corporation? The data breach has many reporting Target's missteps and it appears to resemble a feeding frenzy for sharks.

How else can a person interpret the latest antics of the Miami DJ who hoarded nearly $5,700 of merchandise from the Jason Wu collection in Feb. 2012?

According to the Riptide blog, Kevin Wills and his then wife were first in line at a midtown Miami Target store to get pieces of the Wu collaboration. Wills and his wife snatched up cart-fulls of Wu booty, causing  recrimination from other shoppers who left Wu-less. (This was before Target instituted a buyer limit on designer collections.) Allegedly, some outraged shoppers physically attacked him while he and his then wife tried to leave the store with their hoard.

One customer allegedly shoved her cart into Wills' legs as her husband said that he was going to "kick Wills' ___."

Maybe it took WIlls two years to discover his legs aren't healing or maybe he figured that everyone is suing Target these days so why not try to cash in with everyone else?

Either way, Wills decided that Target didn't do enough that day to protect him from the angry mob. His proof is that Target dropped its no-limit purchase policy immediately after the incident. He also claims that Target made "hundreds of thousands if not millions in advertising" when the media outlets from the Hollywood Reporter to the Huffington Post ridiculed his behavior.

      

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