It's been another weird week in retail. A brand charged nearly $700 for two pairs of jeans sewn together, Ludacris bought people's groceries at Whole Foods and Ikea managed to relate opera to furniture.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
A clockwork denim
If, like us, you love spending money and hate being fashionable, R13 is a great place to start. According to Fox News, the brand is selling out of shorts and jeans that provide double the cost for half the fashionable value.
Then again, you should have to pay something extra when you're receiving two separate pairs of jeans, right? Like the "Double Back Short," which makes it look like you're wearing two pairs of jorts on top of each other, when really you're wearing two hacked-off pieces of denim sewed together for no other reason than to torment 90s kids trying to forget their bad style days.
The $565 shorts are arguably a steal compared to the "Double Back Jean," which retails for an astounding $695 (which again is astonishingly less than Paul Manafort's $15,000 ostrich jacket). Yes, we know it's hard to believe, but customers are expected to actually open their wallets to look like a washed up version of Keith Urban. And that's without even mentioning the silver cowboy boots — the perfect accessory for shoppers looking to show their parents that the rebellious phase never does go away.
This may seem like a con-heavy list, but there is one pro with the potential to outweigh every other thought we have on this: two waistbands arguably leave half the opportunity for plumber butt.
Ludacris: man of the people, local hero, Whole Foods shopper
It's times like these that give rise to feel-good stories like Gap running inclusive ad campaigns, the Walmart yodeler — and now, the strangely humanizing story of Ludacris buying groceries for a Whole Foods shopper. Among the many thoughts we had upon hearing this — Ludacris buys his own groceries? What does he think of the Amazon merger? No wonder we can't afford Whole Foods — perhaps the most important was that this has happened on multiple occasions.
According to The New York Times, Ludacris has made numerous appearances as "generous guy at the grocery store," causing a slew of Tweets from bemused, somewhat observant fans that all sound something like: "This guy at the grocery store looked strangely like Ludicrous. Idk, does he buy his own groceries?"
We don't know much about marketing, but it sounds like this kind of brand love has influencer potential. Which begs the question, if a Ludacris-branded product line is in Whole Foods' future, what would it look like? "What's Your Fantasy" avocado toast? "Move B***h" rice cakes? The possibilities are endless.
The most amazing, infusion-of-joy thing just happened to me in an ATL @WholeFoods. @Ludacris bought my groceries.— Therra (@Therra) July 30, 2018
He was ahead of me in line when the food for my 4 rescued dogs & 2 rescued cats (and elderly, blind chicken named Dixie Licklighter) ended up in with his stuff.
I've started buying way more groceries per shopping trip in case Ludacris ever picks up my tab— Dave Anderson (@Dove_Anderson1) August 9, 2018
y’all telling me Ludacris has NEVER bought you groceries? wild— Notorious E.A.S.Y. (@Milksteakk) August 7, 2018
@Ludacris hi, I need groceries too— brittany (@blevesque95) August 9, 2018
Ludacris just bought my cousins groceries in a Whole Foods in ATL and let’s just add that to the list of reasons to live there— K CHAMP (@kir001952) May 22, 2018
i think i just saw ludacris and his mom in a grocery store— Jack (@jackbindley) May 27, 2017
Ikea sings a song of customer acquisition
For Ikea, launching a new marketing campaign is an event not dissimilar to that slightly weird kid raising their hand in class: we never quite know what we're going to get, but we know it's going to be good.
Thus far, they have yet to disappoint. Indeed, the company has made forays into just about every direction possible in modern marketing: Customers have peed on their ads, cried over Prince Harry in their ads, celebrated drag queens in their ads, made fun of Apple in their ads, and even received vaguely helpful instructions for becoming Jon Snow in their ads.
But like a well-rounded high school student throwing themselves desperately at a college admissions officer, Adweek reports that Ikea is now banking on another odd campaign to get more customers to buy furniture: opera.
In a move that says "we really don't have to play by the rules of marketing anymore," Ikea enlisted surprisingly-talented singers (seriously, these kids ain't your average Kidz Bop talent) to belt out "me" and "we" while using their furniture … because how else would you show that Ikea's furniture is good for company and alone time?
It may seem increasingly like Ikea's ads have little to do with the actual product, and the only thing we have to say about that is: when was the last time you saw a Geico commercial that had to do with insurance?
When shoes are too hard, put stickers on
With each week of bad fashion comes a period of time when the Retail Dive team has to weed through the strange (Why did NASA design a sports bra?), the desperate (Why did the Newseum even consider selling "Fake News" shirts?) and, the subject of our discussion today, the woefully unappealing.
The product of what we're sure someone thought was a good idea, "Nakefit," created feet stickers so that people don't have to go through the hassle of putting on actual shoes. We have to imagine that the creators of the product, reported on by Footwear News, simply didn't consider the social implications of walking down the street without wearing shoes.
If shoes haven't already won the battle here, add another tally in that column for the ability to wear them more than once. And because we don't feel we've mentioned this enough yet, remember that these are literally stickers for your feet — no more "wait up friends, I need to tie my shoes," just "wait up friends, my adhesive sole is coming undone."
Let's just add that to the list of phrases consumers should never have to say and move on.