It's been another weird week in retail. American Airlines launched a wine club, White Castle announced plans to offer a carhop service this Valentine's Day and Costco added a signed Babe Ruth baseball to its product offering.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
American Airlines pours one out
The airline industry has been especially hard-hit this past year as the pandemic halted most nonessential travel. And with trips being canceled, one would think travelers would solely miss their destinations — be it big cities or tropical paradises. But we shouldn't rule out the unlikely hero of travel: the airplane.
Months grounded have turned some consumers nostalgic to the aircraft's little charms, like prepackaged meals, seat-back tray tables and screaming toddlers (OK maybe not that last one).
So to help bring a bit of the flight experience home, American Airlines on Thursday announced it launched Flagship Cellars, a program that sends the onboard wines it serves straight to consumers' homes.
Relax and ????unwine-d???? while listening to the sounds of American's new Flagship® Cellars at-home wine experience. Order yours today!— americanair (@AmericanAir) January 21, 2021
"For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting," Alison Taylor, chief customer officer at American Airlines, said in a statement. "We created Flagship Cellars to provide more ways for customers to enjoy our Flagship wine even if they aren't flying in one of our premium cabins."
The company said nearly 2,000 bottles are reviewed each year to determine which labels will be added to its list. Interested customers of drinking age can go to Vinesse's website to select from a collection of wines, build a custom box, or sign up for a monthly wine subscription, which includes three wines, for around $100.
In a similar move, British Airways late last year listed airline products — as in, hot towel plates, meal trolleys and oven racks — on Whatabuy.
While we're hoping we can actually experience airline travel in the not-so-distant future, we'll be drinking wines from our past lives in the meantime.
Love lives on at White Castle
Valentine's Day undoubtedly will look a little different this year, but White Castle wants to make sure couples can still make the occasion special.
The fast-food chain since 1991 has transformed its restaurants into fine-dining facilities on Valentine's Day, which included hostess seating, festive decorations and tableside service. However, with indoor dining restrictions brought on by COVID-19, White Castle has had to get a little creative to ensure its long-standing tradition continues on.
This year, the chain is transforming 300 of its restaurants into classic drive-ins with carhop service.
"COVID forced us to re-imagine our annual Valentine's Day event," Jamie Richardson, a vice president at White Castle, said in a statement. "This creative and safe solution allows us to celebrate a tradition our customers love. We're happy to share that once again this Valentine's Day, White Castle will become Love Castle."
Couples can reserve a parking space using the Opentable app or website, but the company warned that spots are limited so they better act fast.
To complete the experience, White Castle is providing guests with a brochure full of activities to keep themselves occupied while they wait for their food, as well as a Spotify playlist.
Costco adds legendary merch to its online store
When you step inside a Costco, by design, you never know what you'll find. Perhaps a 27-pound tub of macaroni and cheese. Or maybe a $400,000 diamond ring or an $830 6-liter bottle of champagne is more up your alley.
Just when we think Costco has provided us with all the joys and wonders we'll ever need in our lifetimes, it pulls us in again. This time, with a baseball signed by the legendary Babe Ruth.
The ball is one of Spalding's Babe Ruth "Home Run Special" baseballs — a product of the 1920s that was much sought after by Babe Ruth fans. The ball was designed to meet the exact standards of major league baseballs during that period, according to the product description.
The company said that, "The original owner of this ball however got to experience an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity when they got to meet 'The Babe' and get the ball signed by the legend himself. Ruth signed a beautiful signature in black ink on the balls' opposite sweet spot."
But before you jump onto Costco's website to snatch up this prized possession, it'll cost you — $63,999.99 to be exact.