Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Shopping and Retail

For the (Renewed) Love of Vintage Dressing

LifeStyle
It’s fair to say that as a nation, our style is, collectively, in a state of disaggregation. I blame the pandemic, changing bodies and atrophied social skills, though those are just working theories that lead to more questions.Do the old rules of dressing we once subscribed to even apply in a world where many people no longer have to work in offices but do sometimes meet for after-work drinks? Could I now be someone who wears Western-style shirts on a first date? Is a red satin Versace sheath dress “too much” for sipping a Negroni at a sidewalk cafe on a Wednesday afternoon?“The resurgence in vintage is partly due to our collective ache to be noticed by other people again after feeling invisible for so long,” said Kat Henning, 34, a freelance shoe and home goods designer in the Bed-Stuy se...
What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close

What America’s Port Crisis Looks Like Up Close

Business
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Like toy blocks hurled from the heavens, nearly 80,000 shipping containers are stacked in various configurations at the Port of Savannah — 50 percent more than usual.The steel boxes are waiting for ships to carry them to their final destination, or for trucks to haul them to warehouses that are themselves stuffed to the rafters. Some 700 containers have been left at the port, on the banks of the Savannah River, by their owners for a month or more.“They’re not coming to get their freight,” complained Griff Lynch the executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority. “We’ve never had the yard as full as this.”As he speaks, another vessel glides silently toward an open berth — the 1,207-foot-long Yang Ming Witness, its decks jammed with containers full of clothing, shoes, elec...
How to Sell Good, Inexpensive Wines Without Pandering

How to Sell Good, Inexpensive Wines Without Pandering

LifeStyle
In a sense, she is capitalizing on one of the oldest tricks of wine-lovers, shopping by importer. No wine consumer, not even experts, can hope to know every producer. Instead, over time, they learn which importers’ tastes tend to align with their own. Remembering the names of several importers is a lot easier than memorizing dozens or hundreds of producers.One might object that Ms. Taylor is franchising wine, removing the mystery like franchise food options at interstate rest stops rather than independent mom-and-pops. If anything, the opposite is true. She is instead making available in her line good, small, independent producers who otherwise might never have cut through the noise.“The uniformity is the packaging, not the wine or the appellation,” she said. “My hope is that this conventi...
Will TikTok Make You Buy It?

Will TikTok Make You Buy It?

LifeStyle
The Pink Stuff, an abrasive cleaning paste for hard surfaces, was doing “absolutely nothing for 15 years,” said Henrik Pade, a managing director at its parent company Star Brands, headquartered in the United Kingdom. In 2017, it gained a little boost from cleaning influencers on Instagram and YouTube. The company, which at the time sold most of its cleaning products through domestic brick-and-mortar grocery stores, started investing in social promotion, but “we didn’t know enough about it,” Mr. Pade said.Then came TikTok. “We can’t take any credit for it as a big strategic plan,” Mr. Pade said. “It happened, and we started to follow.” Videos of people cleaning kitchens, bathrooms and off-label items — shoes, car wheels — with the Pink Stuff have, in little more than a year, accumulated mor...

Dollar Stores Hit a Pandemic Downturn

Business
Sandra Beadling was fed up with the 70-hour workweeks, the delivery trucks running days behind schedule, and the wear and tear on her knees from all the stooping to restock the bottom shelves.The manager of the Dollar General store in Wells, Maine, Ms. Beadling, 54, had tried to hire more help. But that was a tough sell when Walmart was offering $16 an hour and her store was paying $12.Ms. Beadling had spent long stretches this summer as one of only a few workers in the store, tending to the register and trying to help shoppers. She had pleaded with her managers to allow the store’s part-time workers to have more hours, but to no avail.One night last month, Ms. Beadling closed up the Dollar General at 10, got home at 11:30 and then left her house at 4 a.m. to be back at the store for an in...
Rappers Come Shop for Jewelry. Icebox Turns the Cameras On.

Rappers Come Shop for Jewelry. Icebox Turns the Cameras On.

LifeStyle
Oodles more hip-hop clients followed, many of whom found Icebox more welcoming than the city’s other jewelry options. “You think about the guy in Atlanta who comes in with a bunch of tattoos, smells a little bit like weed, has long dreads — nine out of 10 places he goes, they’re not showing him any respect,” Zahir said. “We’re here to give them respect from the moment they walk in the store.”Icebox started to become a rapper safe space and playground. Soulja Boy and Wiz Khalifa filmed themselves coming into the store for videos they posted online. In the mid-2010s, as Instagram was becoming ubiquitous as a tool of social documentation, “we started to see celebrities were posting pictures of themselves with other celebrities in Icebox,” Mo said. Every week, the store tended to several stars...
Retailers’ Latest Headache: Shutdowns at Their Vietnamese Suppliers

Retailers’ Latest Headache: Shutdowns at Their Vietnamese Suppliers

Business
After a bruising 18 months of the pandemic, this fall represented a fresh start for the apparel company Everlane. It was preparing to release a slew of new products, with September marking the beginning of an ambitious marketing campaign around its denim.Instead, Everlane has spent this month scrambling just to get jeans — along with other products like bags and shoes — out of Vietnam, where a surge in coronavirus cases has forced factories to either close or operate at severely reduced capacity with staff living in on-site bubbles.“At this point, we have factories in 100 percent lockdown,” Michael Preysman, Everlane’s chief executive, said in an interview. “Do we fly things over? Do we move things? Do we adjust in the factory? It’s a nonstop game of Tetris.”The crisis in Vietnam, which ha...
‘Every Day Is Frightening’: Working For Walmart Amid Covid

‘Every Day Is Frightening’: Working For Walmart Amid Covid

Business
Elsewhere in the country, the conversation has begun to move on, away from early Covid alarm and into something more guardedly speculative. What will post-pandemic life look like? How have our priorities shifted? But for vast swaths of the nation, largely untouched by doses from Pfizer and Moderna, it remains late 2020 in many ways.“A lot of people here still don’t believe the virus is real — even when the hospitals are full, even when they have family dying,” Mr. Naughton said. “With the vaccines, one co-worker told me getting it would go against her faith. Another told me it contains baby fetuses and mercury. Someone else said it was created by Bill Gates to insert microchips to track you. I said, ‘Why would he want to track you?’”The conversations Mr. Naughton describes may be epidemiol...

Global Supply Shortages Reach All the Way to a Haitian Aid Group

Business
In the face of bewildering and enduring shortages of goods throughout the global economy, even aid organizations like food banks and clothing distributors are caught in the chaos. Many are struggling to secure what they need, amplifying scarcity in vulnerable communities.In Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries, an effort to increase household incomes is confronting a new problem stemming from the global supply chain upheaval — a shortage of shoes.The Haitian American Caucus, a nonprofit organization, imports donated, used shoes from the United States and sells them at low-cost to women who hawk them on sidewalks and in markets, earning crucial cash for their families.The caucus is distributing almost 100,000 pairs of shoes a month, but it could manage four times as many if only more...
Retailers Rethink Pandemic-Battered Manhattan

Retailers Rethink Pandemic-Battered Manhattan

Business
In the heart of Manhattan’s garment district, a once-busy Starbucks on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 39th Street sits empty. Just down the block, a Dos Toros Taqueria that opened just three years ago is now closed. And Wok to Walk, which once served steaming containers of noodles mixed with chicken and vegetables to a bustling lunch crowd, is also shuttered.While the Delta variant of the coronavirus has again delayed plans by many companies to bring employees back to offices en masse, workers who have been trickling into Midtown are discovering that many of their favorite haunts for a quick cup of coffee and a muffin in the morning or sandwich or salad at lunchtime have disappeared. A number of those that are open are operating at reduced hours or with limited menus.With the pandemic kee...