It's been another weird week in retail.
In the lead up to Disney's "The Last Jedi," Columbia unveiled three $400 force-filled jackets. Meanwhile, Starbucks concocted a disastrous Christmas frappuccino and the Russian Olympic Committee tweeted out a 'dope' fashion line.
This, and more, in this week's Retail Therapy.
Columbia strikes back
As kids, we all had dreams about living the lives of our favorite characters. And while not everyone wants to be Luke Skywalker when he finds out his father is a planet-destroying super villain, who wouldn't want to be him when he's stuck in the frozen wastelands of Hoth?
At least that's what Columbia is hoping. The outerwear brand just released a Star Wars collection featuring three coats based off of those worn by Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back." The Skywalker-inspired coat promises to keep you "warmer than a tauntaun," while Harrison Ford's parka boasts the same heat as "a hug from your favorite wookiee."
Unsurprisingly, there was no sense of humor in the product description for Princess Leia's jacket, although that might be due more so to the $400 price tag than to Leia's often prickly personality, which produced such lines as, "I'd rather kiss a wookiee." In all honesty, the collection looks like a smart mashup of pop culture and a fully-functioning product line, but the price tag is a little too "far, far, away" for the average consumer.
Help me, undersupplied bank account, you're my only hope.
Starbucks fells the Christmas tree
It's that time of year again: wreaths are on doors, presents are under trees — and of course Starbucks unwrapped another festively-flavored drink.
The coffee chain released a limited-edition Christmas Tree Frappuccino, replete with "caramel drizzle garland and candied cranberry ornaments and finished with a strawberry tree topper," Popsugar reports. After the outright opposition to the unicorn frappuccino, not to mention the uninspiring Midnight Mint Mocha, we can only assume Starbucks takes a masochistic pleasure in releasing drinks that seem bound to fail.
As usual, social media has latched onto the liquid failure. The Twitterverse is heaping abuse on the drink, which is only helped along by wary baristas clearly not looking forward to making it.
Surprisingly, this isn't the worst holiday trend we saw this week. That award goes to Plumr's holiday sweaters, reported by Adweek, which — in a sentence that perfectly sums up the product — were said to offer a "festive butt crack" to buyers.
There really is no place like retail for the holidays.
Y’all please pray for me to make it through work tomorrow. Starbucks is releasing a new Christmas tree Frappuccino— Guppy (@mcauley_gabby) December 7, 2017
Ok but like wtf is a christmas tree frappuccino supposed to even taste like ...— Brooke Jackson (@brookejackson96) December 7, 2017
Russia flaunts doping sweatshirts like it's going out of fashion
As we saw with President Donald Trump's "Big League" subscription box, Cards Against Humanity's Mexican border purchase and the MAGA swimsuit, all of which took the internet by storm this summer, fashion is hardly a stranger to strong — albeit controversial — political statements.
The Russian Olympics Committee furthered that point last week by tweeting out a line of clothes that seemed to make fun of the drug allegations surrounding the country's athletes, The Wall Street Journal reports. The shirts said things like "I don't do doping" and "Russians did it!" — a bold fashion statement for a country that was already in hot water with the International Olympic Committee.
Сегодня состоится премьерный показ экипировки Олимпийской команды России и casual-коллекции бренда ZASPORT. pic.twitter.com/VueWs86n5l— Olympic Russia (@Olympic_Russia) November 29, 2017
Russia was, then, of course, banned from participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea. It's unclear whether the country's gentle mocking had anything to do with the decision, but we like to think that a low score on "design of protest clothing" was part of the decision for Russia's punishment.
While a lot of phrases come to mind here — not least of all, "you had it coming" and "you should have known better" — there's still a few things Russia has going for it: namely borscht, matryoshka dolls and the complete works of Leo Tolstoy.
Charmin puts the real power behind the throne
These days, nothing gets a shopper's attention quite like pop-up retail — and what better way to separate your store from the rest than by getting intimate with your customers? And nothing says intimacy quite like encouraging your customers to do their "business" with you.
In a strange move predicated on helping customers "Enjoy the Go," Charmin set up restroom stalls in New York's Times Square that are way more than just a bathroom stop, Marketing Dive reports. According to the company, there are 14 "unforgettable and playful stalls designed to transport people to another place through immersive sights and sounds," and are aimed at providing customers with "Roman baths for your bottom."
If it sounds weird, it only gets weirder. Themes (yes, each stall has a theme) include "Mount Everest" and "Under the Sea," because if we have to go anyway, why not do it in a setting that calls to mind one of the most treacherous mountains in the world or, alternatively, everyone's favorite Disney character?
No matter which way you spin the toilet roll, a public bathroom just isn't the place you want to have an "immersive" experience.