In this week's Retail Therapy, I would like to give a shoutout to a new personal hero of mine, Brittany Stinson.
In her college application essay, Stinson could have gone the traditional route—writing about her family, favorite pet, inspiring teacher, etc., etc. Instead, she channeled the Costco lover in all of us, writing about the retailer’s free samples, endless amounts of bulk merchandise, and that killer $1.50 hot dog deal. She’s a hero, a star, and deserves all the happiness in the world.
Geography is hard
In an “only at Wal-Mart” kind of situation, the Washington Post reports that the retailer was selling a University of Maryland shirt featuring the school’s logo—over the outline of Massachusetts. After people on Twitter pointed out the difference between the two states’ shapes, Wal-Mart removed the shirt from stores on Monday—but only after it tried to defend the logo, tweeting: “The state of Maryland is shaped to dip down on the right hand side which includes the word ‘Terps’ for the team."
The retailer later apologized by using a well-placed turtle pun.
@Samficco We’re so embarrassed we may never stick our head out of our shell again! Thanks for guiding this lost Terrapin back to MD! -Sonny— Walmart (@Walmart) April 4, 2016
Give this girl a scholarship (and a churro)
A love for Costco gets you many things: free samples, $1.50 hot dog combos, and giant jars of Nutella. Incorporate these perks into a college admission essay like 18-year-old Brittany Stinson did, and you might end up with five acceptance letters to Ivy League universities. In a creative, food-driven narrative, Stinson describes how her weekly visits to Costco shaped her young intellectual mind:
“Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson's controversiality.”
“I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will?”
“Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level.”
NBC News has the full essay here.
Cleaning up a spotty situation
J.C. Penney found itself in a sticky situation last week when someone on Imgur posted a photo of a skirt featuring a flower that, as Digiday delicately put it, looks like “a puddle [of] blood over the woman’s pubic area.”
While some retailers may have shied away from confrontation, J.C. Penney took it in stride, tweeting on Thursday:
Is anything sacred anymore?
Could a wedding dress be a existential threat to the institution of marriage? That’s what one fashion reporter is claiming in an op-ed penned for the New Zealand Herald, targeting new wedding collections from fast-fashion retailers Asos and H&M. The writer, Rachel Wells, says these low price, off-the-rack gowns “cheapen marriage,” going on to decry the sanctity of it all:
“I am well aware that not every bride can afford to, or would even want to, spend thousands of dollars on a bespoke wedding dress, and I'm certainly not suggesting they should, but I can't help but feeling that wedding dresses that cost less than your weekly grocery bill and are manufactured in a conveyor-belt fashion in a faraway factory for even less, somewhat trivialises the significance and sanctity of a wedding.”
$137 gowns? The horror!