Posted tagged ‘Kmart’

Graco Recalls 1.5 Million Strollers

January 20, 2010

1.5 million strollers that were made by Graco Children’s Products are being recalled after reports of children’s fingers being cut when the canopy is opening or closing.

You can obtain a complete list of the model numbers of recalled strollers and travel systems by visiting the CPSC’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov/.

Also, if you have one of the recalled items, be sure to contact Graco at 800-345-4109 to receive a free protective cover repair kit. The company’s Web site is http://www.gracobaby.com/.

I’ll have to call my wife. I know that Graco is the only brand that we ever buy!

From MSNBC:

The recalled strollers are Graco’s Passage, Alano and Spree strollers and travel systems.

They were made in China and sold at Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Fred Meyer, Sears, Target, Walmart, Meijers, AAFES, Navy Exchange, Burlington Coat Factory and other retailers for between $80 and $90 for the strollers and between $150 and $200 for the travel systems.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Wednesday morning after Graco received seven reports of children being injured when their fingers got caught in canopy hinge as it was being opened or closed. Two children’s fingers were cut and there were five reports of children losing their fingertips.

More Than 2 Million Cribs Recalled

November 23, 2009

More than 2.1 million drop-side cribs by Stork Craft Manufacturing are being recalled because failures have trapped 15 children and suffocated four.

From ABC News:

ABC News has learned the Stork Craft company will recall 2.1 million cribs because of problems with dropdown sides. As many as three deaths have been linked to the product.

There are approximately 1,213,000 units distributed in the United States, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo, and 968,000 units distributed in Canada. Not all dropdown-side models are recalled, only those with plastic hardware and a one-hand system to drop the side rail.

Stork Craft has released a toll-free number for consumers to call, or to order a free repair kit: (877) 274-0277.

From CNN Money:

The cribs were sold at major retailers including Sears and Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.com and Target.com between January 1993 and October 2009.

The CPSC said the cribs’ drop-side, which is attached with plastic hardware, can detach unexpectedly and create a space between the crib wall and the adjacent mattress. Infants and toddlers can become trapped in the space and suffocate or fall to the floor, the agency said.

There have been 110 documented incidents of drop-side detachment, including 67 in the United States and 43 in Canada. Among those, four resulted in suffocation and 20 resulted in falls that caused injuries ranging from concussion to bumps and bruises.

Major retailers in the United States and Canada sold the recalled cribs including BJ’s Wholesale Club, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Meijer, Sears (SHLD, Fortune 500), USA Baby, and Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) stores and online at Amazon.com (AMZN, Fortune 500), Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Target.com (TGT, Fortune 500), and Walmart.com from January 1993 through October 2009 for between $100 and $400.

Retailers Hope To Attract Shoppers With Huge Discounts

December 22, 2008

Over the last weekend before Christmas, retailers were offering huge discounts. Macy’s sold designer purses for half price, and jewelry was knocked down 40%, while more than a dozen of its stores are staying open around the clock until Christmas Eve. At some Kmart and Sears locations, shoppers lined up in search of deals before the stores opened.

From the New York Times:

The deals were there and, by most accounts, so were the shoppers. But at the close of the final holiday shopping weekend, consumers confessed they were still nervous about buying.

”This is going to be a poor Christmas,” said Dee Dobbins, a 31-year-old from Goldsboro, N.C., who finished her holiday shopping with money she’d received from her recent graduation from North Carolina State University. ”At least I had it, because I don’t know what I would have done.”

From flagship department stores to main street shops, consumers found packed parking lots, massive markdowns and extended hours — in some places, around-the-clock shopping — as merchants hope to salvage one of the worst shopping seasons in decades, brought on by the recession and growing economic uncertainty.

For those willing to spend, the deals abounded.

In Miami, Ana Solis bought T-shirts from the Disney Store featuring Kermit the Frog and Tigger. One shirt — original price $24.99 — was marked down to $7.99 before another 40 percent discount.

At the flagship Macy’s store on 34th Street in New York, shoppers swarmed racks offering 65 percent off women’s clothing. Elsewhere, the store was offering 50 percent off handbags by designers such as Dooney & Bourke and Coach and 40 percent off gold earrings.

Chris Moscardelli snagged a cashmere blanket for more than half off.

”It’s been a great day,” the 38-year-old said.

But not for Ahmad Parpia, the store manager of Marquise Jewelers inside Dallas’ Valley View Mall, who’s seen his most profitable period of the year fizzle out. Few shoppers are coming inside the jeweler’s four stores to buy diamond-encrusted chains, gold watches and jewelry, despite signs advertising: ”Financing available up to $10,000. Will beat any competitive price.”

”It’s almost like 80 percent down over the last two years,” he said. ”I’ve never seen before a Christmas like that, and I’ve been in this business almost 15 years.”

The International Council of Shopping Centers expects established stores to post their worst performance for the holidays since at least 1969, when it began tracking such data. It predicts same-store sales — or sales at stores open at least a year — will fall as much as 1 percent for the November and December period, and fears the decline could even be steeper.

Still, shoppers were out at Kmart and Sears stores this weekend as customers stocked up on last-minute gifts and electronics like Nintendo’s Wii, Blu-ray players, digital cameras and tools. In some cases, shoppers lined up before stores opened for weekend doorbuster deals.

”For the most part, we beat our previous week, which was a great kind of benchmark, because last week was strong for us,” said Tom Aiello, a spokesman for the stores owned by Sears Holdings Corp.

Kmart Enlists Bloggers for PR

December 12, 2008

Six influential bloggers have been given $500 gift certificates to spend at Kmart in exchange for blogging about the experience. The posts were not censored by Kmart, and the bloggers clearly disclosed their agreement with the retailer. The blog posts seem to be the tip of the spear for a larger marketing effort which will include contests and more traditional advertisements meant to persuade holiday shoppers to revisit Kmart stores.

From MediaPost Publications:

A sponsored social networking campaign enlisting the help of six well-known bloggers is yielding big buzz for Kmart and encouraging consumers to give the retailer another look during the critical holiday season.

Kmart gave each of six influential bloggers a $500 gift certificate to go on a shopping spree in the store and then blog about their shopping experiences in any way they saw fit (no censorship). The bloggers clearly disclosed this sponsored arrangement in their respective postings.

In addition, Kmart is sponsoring a contest in which one community member from each of the six blogs will win a $500 gift certificate to go on a Kmart shopping spree.

In their postings about their own shopping sprees, the original bloggers let those in their communities know that they could enter to win a $500 Kmart shopping certificate in one of two ways. They could either place a comment on the blog’s post, consisting of a holiday wish list of items totaling under $500 that are carried at Kmart (including a description and SKU number for each item), or use Twitter to tweet the message provided on each blog’s posting area.

An added exposure element is also involved, via social media marketing company Izea, through which the campaign is being run. In addition to managing formal campaigns like Kmart’s six-blogger shopping spree/postings effort, Izea enables advertisers/sponsors to link up with selected bloggers within its network of approximately 250,000 participating blogs who want to carry transparent, paid-for sponsor ads or postings. (Participating bloggers adhere to a code of ethics that requires disclosure of those posts that are sponsored.) This provides added “long tail” exposure for sponsors, explains Izea founder/CEO Ted Murphy.

Bloggers can review paid sponsorships being offered through Izea’s SocialSpark blog marketing network or its PayPerPost program and sign up to participate in specific sponsorships that appear to match up to their blogs’ content/demographics. The sponsor determines the amounts offered; the terms range from pay-per-post to pay-per-day to CPA. In this case, bloggers could sign up to run a Kmart banner about the shopping contest.

The Greatest Black Friday Deals for 2008

November 26, 2008

There are a ton of great deals in stores set to roll for Black Friday in just two days. The recession has made bargain hunters out of almost every consumer, and discounters of most every retailer this holiday season.

Will you be in position at 4 a.m. at Kohl’s (or wherever your favorite store may be), with your credit card in hand, ready to land one of those fantastic deals?

I won’t. But I’ve included a few links to some sites which have a great listing of Black Friday Ads and Black Friday Deals. Enjoy!

Black Friday Ads

Black Friday Info

There is also a great article from Digital Trends talking about you ten best bets for Black Friday.

From the article:

It takes some pretty spectacular deals to pry Americans out of their recliners late every Turkey Day and send them out into blistering cold parking lots to camp for hours, but retailers have it figured it out with Black Friday. And if you’re looking to score a big-screen TV for half of what it normally runs for, get a printer bundled with your camera for free, or pick up an MP3 player for the cost of a cup of coffee, you’ll be out there too. With the economy forcing consumers to pinch their pennies even more this year, and retailers trying even harder to open those cautiously held wallets, the deals are ripe for the picking. Here are a few of our favorite picks for this year.

Tom Tom One Third Edition Nav System
$69.99 at Pep Boys

Just like last year, Pep Boys remains the place to go if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest GPS system out there on Black Friday. Though the price drop from last year isn’t earth-shattering, the good news is that you’re actually ending up with a respectable name brand unit this year. TomTom’s One v.3 may be a no-frills system, but it’s compact, it’s in color, and it works.

HP Pavilion G50-112NR Notebook
$349.99 at Office Depot

Though some people will be disappointed that the price on budget notebooks hasn’t seemed to budge much further south this year, the hardware you get for the price has taken a huge leap forward. For the first time ever, $350 will buy you a notebook that not only has a dual-core Intel processor, but 3GB of RAM as well, which should be more than adequate for most peoples’ needs. And though it’s an obscure sale model, it carries the HP name as well.

Panasonic 42-inch 1080p VIERA Plasma HDTV
$899.99 at Circuit City

Skip all the ultra-budgets sets with names you’ve never heard of, and bag this model (which is bound to be a lot less disappointing in two months) instead. At $400 off MSRP, you’re still getting a huge discount, but with a much better quality TV. Panasonic’s plasma TVs are renowned for their black levels, and this particular set has received great reviews.

Black Friday Shoppers Searching Harder for Big Deals

November 25, 2008

Black Friday usually is a big day in retail, but signs are evident that this year could be different. Consumers are planning to spend less, options have shrunk because of retail closings, and some consumers are noting that they aren’t seeing as many hot deals. Experts say the deals are there, however, especially in regional stores and online.

From CNET:

Usually Black Friday is a good time of year for consumers and retailers. It’s when retailers get “in the black” by getting rid of a lot of excess inventory through offering drastic discounts.

This year is different. The economy has crumbled, consumers plan on spending less, and at least for those shopping for electronics, there are fewer viable options with many Circuit City stores set to close.

Some bargain hunters have complained that, so far, they haven’t seen as many great deals as they’re used to this time of year as the circular Black Friday ads for major retailers get leaked ahead of time.

CNET News caught up with some retail and Black Friday specialists to ask them if and where good deals can be found this season.

For electronics, the best deals may not be found at the Best Buys and Wal-Marts of the world this year, says Daniel de Grandpre, CEO of Dealnews, a bargain-tracking site. He recommends regional competitors to the international chains. “Look towards MicroCenter, Fry’s Electronics, Meijer, and others for better Black Friday deals. MicroCenter’s weekend sale has some outstanding deals.”

There will also be great deals on the Web. Not just online-only retailers like Newegg.com and Amazon.com, but the Web sites of your favorite stores, too. All major retailers with Web stores maintain different inventories for their brick-and-mortar and online outlets, and will try to entice customers with “Web only” discounts.

A lot more sites will be enticing consumers with offers of free shipping this year. “Free shipping will be prevalent,” as will specials on gift cards or offers of no sales tax, according to John Squire, chief strategy officer for Coremetrics, which tracks online retail sales. Also look for more online coupons and “minimum basket values,” which are free goods or other enticements if you spend a certain amount of money.

Despite all of this, uncertainty is rampant among retailers.

“In the past, these things were a lot easier to predict than this year,” said Squire of Coremetrics. In years past, holiday sales were generally up 20 percent on Black Friday and the following Monday, and the top sales day has been easy to pinpoint as December 9.

“But since the drop of the stock market and complete falloff in consumer spending in October…it’s hard to give distinct numbers for Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year.”

But that doesn’t mean holiday discounts won’t be as generous this year. Dealnews’ de Grandpre says being less aggressive on prices this year would be a risky strategy.

“Shoppers are savvier than ever. They have access to far more information than ever,” by doing advance comparison shopping with Black Friday tracking sites, he said. “If a retailer doesn’t offer a suitable ‘doorbuster’ to drive traffic to its stores, buyers will look for someone else who does.”

Some retailers are doing Black Friday month specials, rather than confining their deep discounts to just the day following Thanksgiving.

Black Friday “is the best single day for bargains, without question. However, there are Black Friday-like deals happening now,” according to de Grandpre. “(Beginning in October), we’ve already seen a Blu-ray player for $170 with $70 in free Blu-ray movies–akin to getting the player for $100. We’ve also seen a 42-inch 720p LCD HDTV for $600, and a Kingston 32GB USB Flash Drive for $30, both with free shipping.”

Kmart, for example, officially started offering “Early Black Friday” deals on November 2 (registration required), in an attempt to entice buyers who are expected to be more conservative about their spending this holiday.

Retailers Ready for Black Friday

November 24, 2008

Retailers and mall owners are gearing up for Black Friday, which is more critical than ever as shoppers cut back their spending. Black Friday falls on November 28, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, and many retailers have already begun advertising HUGE discounts to attract shoppers as early as midnight.

From Reuters:

Black Friday, the traditional start to the U.S. holiday shopping season, means more to retailers this year as they struggle to win over consumers with a recession looming.

Retailers that fail to rack up sales during the three-day weekend face the prospect of clearing out merchandise at profit-crunching prices closer to Christmas.

“While Black Friday sales and promotions have been tremendously successful for the last few years, the day itself takes on a bit more importance when consumers are struggling,” said Ellen Davis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. “In a down economy, people are willing to get up at 3 a.m. and sit in a line outside a store.”

Retailers ring up roughly 10 percent of total holiday sales during the three-day weekend, best known for the deals offered on Black Friday — named for the days when store chains used to turn a profit for the year.

The weekend’s results do not always indicate how overall holiday sales will fare, but with the United States likely in a consumer-led recession, it has added importance.

Consumers will look for bargain-basement prices to help meet austere budgets, while retailers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc to Saks Inc learn if they have the right products at the right prices.

“This year, the Black Friday weekend has profound impact on how consumers and, more importantly, how retailers are going to view the holiday season in totality,” said Janet Hoffman, managing partner of Accenture Ltd’s global retail practice.

From the Associated Press:

After pushing steep discounts throughout November that are usually reserved for the day after Thanksgiving, retailers from Kohl’s to Toys “R” Us are offering even bigger cuts and promotions for Black Friday in a frantic bid to pull in shoppers.

But the bargain hunters showing up for the early morning specials on toys and TVs are not expected to buy with the same gusto as a year ago, as they fret about tightening credit, massive layoffs and shrinking retirement funds.

Not to mention that consumers are already jaded by all those “60 percent off” signs plastered on storefronts. Analysts say shoppers may stick to smaller gifts like cosmetics rather than $1,000 flat-panel TVs in a holiday season expected to be the weakest in decades.

Another concern? There aren’t any must-have items so far, even in toys – though some items have been popular, such as Spin Master Ltd.’s Bakugan.

“I will be careful,” said Joanna Rizzo, 20, an executive secretary from Medford, N.Y. who plans to stick to her budget of $200 for the day after Thanksgiving. Rizzo has just finished paying off her credit cards, and will use cash to pay for her presents. Overall, she plans to spend about $600, less than the $1,000 she spent on presents last year.

In recent years, merchants including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Toys “R” Us Inc., have been pushing earlier the sales and expanded hours that were typically reserved for Black Friday – named because it historically was when stores turned a profit – to jump-start the season.

But in this year’s deteriorating economy, stores from luxury retailers to consumer electronics chains, pressed the panic button – slashing prices up to 60 percent on even new merchandise. After reporting the worst October sales in at least 39 years, stores are seeing more weak sales in November, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Index, which measures sales at stores opened at least a year.

Kmart, a division of Sears Holdings Corp., started offering products at what it calls “Black Friday prices” earlier in the month – the first time it had done so. Drugstore chain CVS Caremark Corp. will launch a weeklong “Black Friday” promotion on Sunday, offering early morning deals on items ranging from GPS devices to digital photos frames.

“Black Friday is going to have some very impressive deals, but overall the deals won’t be any better than what you saw before,” despite all the hype, said Dan de Grandpre, founder and editor-in-chief of dealnews.com. “Retailers have already given their best shots already.”


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