Retail Therapy: Love in the time of fast-food chains and retail supercenters

This year, Valentine's Day brought a singing telegram performer to Wal-Mart and sauce packet wedding bouquets to Taco Bell.

Valentine's Day has always been a boon for retailers selling chocolate and flowers. But this year, Wal-Mart and Taco Bell got in the action... in some very unique ways. 

This, and more, in this week’s Retail Therapy.

Wal-Mart lovin'

Forget fancy restaurants — retail supercenters are the hot new date spot.

On this year's Valentine’s Day, Demetre White used a Wal-Mart store in Decatur, AL to stage an elaborate gesture, in which he asked his two-year crush to be his girlfriend, WHNT News 19 reports

This was no ordinary food court slushie date. As White's crush, Quita Davis, entered the store, telegram performer Ashley Williams grabbed her hand and began singing “Stand By Me.” While walking around the store, various friends and family members held signs that together spelled out, “Will you be my girlfriend?” In a video captured by Williams, White is holding the last card and Davis gives him a hug and a kiss. That video later went viral — garnering nearly 7 million views on Facebook at press time.

Maybe Wal-Mart should change its tagline to “Save money. Love better.”

Taco Bell's wedding proposal

Move over Domino’s. Taco Bell wants in on the wedding business, too.

Last week, we dished up the latest on Domino’s new wedding registry, the perfect gift for millennials who don’t know how to cook anyway. Now this week, Taco Bell shared a little Valentine’s Day love by announcing it wants customers to get married in its Las Vegas Cantina flagship restaurant. Starting this summer, Taco Bell enthusiasts can walk down the linoleum aisle with a sauce packet bouquet in hand, all the while wearing a “Just Married” Taco Bell-branded T-shirt.

“From sauce packet proposals to couples catering their wedding parties and afterparties with Taco Bell, we have known for years that some of our most creative fans have been incorporating Taco Bell into this momentous occasion,” Marisa Thalberg, chief marketing officer at Taco Bell, said in a press release.

A Taco Bell wedding, which also includes a Taco 12-pack, a Cinnabon Delights wedding cake and an officiator, retails at $600. Smells like a delicious deal to us — and if you're going to get married in Vegas, why not Live Más?


Taobao's morbid merchandise

Taobao, Alibaba’s Chinese e-commerce platform, got into hot water this week for selling distastefully morbid merchandise.

Just after news broke that a woman had been detained by Malaysian authorities under suspicion she was involved in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, social media began to buzz about the top she was wearing — a white shirt with the letters “LOL” scrawled across the front.

A day after the incident, Taobao began selling a look-alike shirt in five sizes, which was described as: "North Korea female who assassinated Kim Jong nam's T-shirt." The shirts were being sold for 6,324 yuan, or about $920, Mashable reports. The shirt was later taken down, but the super-fast fashion reaction left us unsettled. 

Bad burglar

A hooded man outside a small, locally-owned Massachusetts supermarket was caught on camera using a large rock to try to shatter a window and gain entry. The wannabe burglar threw the boulder at a window multiple times, but to no avail. 

"He has the ability to hurl a 10 pound boulder, multiple times, but lacks the strength to provide proper trajectory in order to gain entry," police said in a viral Facebook post that has been viewed over 11 thousand times. "While we use a sense of humor, the fact is that the suspect committed a serious offense and a local business was inconvenienced."

Ultimately, the rock did shatter the glass... but did not create a large enough opening for the man to climb through, and he was eventually scared off by a nearby vehicle. This may very well be the worst attempted heist of all time.

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Filed Under: Consumer Trends
Top image credit: Taco Bell press release