Retail Therapy: Ugly sweaters — and the beautiful people who sell them

Everyone from Whoopi Goldberg to 2 Chainz is catching on to the ugly sweater phenomenon, while some expectant orangutans set up a Target gift registry for their new bundle of joy.

It’s time to dig through your closet and fish out that sequin-studded. Christmas tree-covered sweater again. The holiday season is here, and so are the ugly holiday sweater parties: Celebrities from Whoopi Goldberg to 2 Chainz have decked the halls with lines of impressively tacky yet festive duds.

While you’re shelling out for a sweater you’ll only wear once a year, don’t forget that the holidays are a time of giving. So why not splurge on a cute gift for a baby orangutan? The Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX is hoping the holiday spirit moves Target customers to buy up everything on the gift registry created for its newest simian family member, expected in late January.

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

Celebrities roll out ugly holiday sweaters

There are plenty of reasons to loathe the holiday season — face-numbing temperatures, snow-enveloped cars and dangerously icy walkways — but ugly sweaters are a bright spot that reminds us that for at least one day out of the year, we can put comfort above any duty to socially-acceptable fashion.

As the ugly sweater phenomenon has become a ubiquitous part of the holiday season, celebrities have cashed in on the trend by rolling out their own lines of horribly hideous holiday attire. This year, top picks range from Whoopi Goldberg’s boring reindeer-covered Lord & Taylor line to Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike’s edgy “Run the Yules” pullovers.

Here’s a quick look at what you might see at your office party:

Zoo monkeys around, sets up Target gift registry

Like all expectant parents, Mei and KJ need a lot of things to prepare for their incoming baby — and since they don’t have jobs, they’re hoping to get most of what they need from their Target gift registry. Waco's Cameron Park Zoo is hosting a baby shower for the orangutan couple this weekend, Dallas News reports.

Most of the classic baby items (such as a musical crib mobile, burp cloths and children’s books like “Goodnight Moon" and "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” are already checked off Mei and KJ's wishlist. But worry not, you can still purchase a completely necessary 15-piece sand toy set, a hula hoop or a Simon & Garfunkel CD. (This is going to be one cool kid monkey.)

While the monkeys’ musical taste beyond classic rock (and, presumably, the Monkees) is unclear, zoo staffers admit that not all the items on the registry are for the new family (e.g., the GoPro and iPod shuffle).

Cute alert: The zoo posted about its special event on its Facebook Page.

"Jerry Maguire" films reincarnate as desert pyramid

13,446. That’s the number of VHS copies of the 1996 Tom Cruise movie classic "Jerry Maguire" the Chicago-based video blogging website Everything Is Terrible has amassed as of press time. The oddball collective announced this week that it has finally amassed the world’s largest collection of the movie, an achievement that just so happens to fall on a major milestone — the flick’s 20th anniversary.

To commemorate this critical moment in cinema history, Everything Is Terrible will give the videotapes one last showing. From Jan. 13 to 29, it will launch a pop-up exhibit replica of a 1996 video rental store in a Los Angeles art gallery.

Thereafter, The Verge reports, Everything Is Terrible has decided to “deliver [the cassettes] to their final resting place, a pyramid in the desert.” Confused? Check out the video describing the project:

You can't spell 'reality' without 'retail'

There’s a reality show for everything these days, and the retail industry is getting in on the action. Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Greg Scott, CEO of New York & Company, will both appear on the upcoming season of CBS's “Undercover Boss.”

The program will follow the two execs as they go incognito at their respective retail chains, doing grunt work like stuffing furry teddy bears and meticulously folding sweaters. The episodes don't premiere until Dec. 21, but this video preview offers a sneak peek:

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Consumer Trends