OPERATIONS

Wet Seal launches Wet Seal + Plus banner Aug. 16

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foothill Ranch, Calif. – The Wet Seal Inc. is launching its new Wet Seal + Plus banner with 30 new stores opening Aug. 16. The stores are opening in California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Wet Seal initially announced it would open the Wet Seal + Plus banner in April 2014, when the retailer exited its Arden B business. The chain is aimed at plus-sized girls. An online contest is allowing girls to submit photos and entries for the chance to become a Wet Seal + Plus model.

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OPERATIONS

GameStop simplifies trade-in pricing

BY Dan Berthiaume

Grapevine, Texas – A new, streamlined trade-in program will launch nationwide at all GameStop stores on Aug. 18 that simplifies all the variables that affect the amount customers are eligible to receive when selling a game in a store. As a result, GameStop now has more than 100 games worth $20 or more.

The program will feature four price-points depending on whether a customer chooses cash or in-store credit for their items and whether they are a PowerUp Rewards Pro member. For example, a customer who is a PowerUp Rewards Pro member who sells a game valued at $20 for credit could get $22, whereas a customer who sells that game for cash and who is not a PowerUp Rewards Pro member would get $16.

Trades are accepted at all GameStop locations. Customers can sell games, consoles, tablets and smartphones. All items are then sent to be fully refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition at a discounted price.

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Barneys settles racial profiling case

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Barneys New York has settled its profiling and racial discrimination case, agreeing to pay $525,000 and implement measures to address potential future profiling chances.

The retailer’s Madison Avenue store has been under investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s office for the past nine months.

“Profiling and racial discrimination remain a problem in our state, but not one we are willing to accept,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “This agreement will continue our work to ensure there’s one set of rules for everyone in public accommodations, including customers in New York’s retail establishments.”

The investigation began after two African American shoppers sued the store and the city, following a shopping trip to Barneys and a subsequent stop by police. In April 2013, Trayon Christian, then an 18-year-old college student, bought a $350 Ferragamo belt with his debit card and left the store. Two undercover police officers requested to see receipts and allegedly told Christian “that he could not afford to make such an expensive purchase.”

After Christian’s encounter became public, Kayla Phillips said she, too, had been profiled under similar circumstances.

The attorney general found that Barneys maintained inadequate records of stops made by their loss-prevention employees, but despite these lapses, existing records showed a disproportionate number of African American and Latino customers were detained for alleged shoplifting or credit card fraud.

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