It's been another weird week in retail.
Neiman Marcus wants you to spend over $500 on your Thanksgiving dinner (and on Christmas presents, too), Stove Top sold out of Thanksgiving dinner pants and KFC is charging $10,000 for a Cyber Monday 'internet escape pod.'
This, and more, in this week's Retail Therapy.
All Neiman Marcus wants for Christmas is your hard-earned cash
Department store retailers have been facing plenty of challenges lately, but it seems the only one Neiman Marcus set for itself was to come in first for, "highest number of items on which you could squander your entire salary."
That starts with Thanksgiving dinner. While some of us might be convinced that Thanksgiving is all about friendship, family and gratefulness, Neiman Marcus knows it's actually all about serving up a $527 dinner.
Reported by the Los Angeles Times, its luxury Thanksgiving meal allegedly serves 12 people and includes a turkey, gravy, sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, monkey bread, strawberry butter, cranberry relish, farro pilaf or green beans, pecan bread pudding and whiskey sauce. After all, who needs a Thanksgiving dinner cooked with love when you can have one cooked by Neiman Marcus? Just drop in a KFC fried chicken bath bomb and everyone will think you actually made all that food yourself.
The over-priced spending doesn't have to stop there! Avid Neiman Marcus shoppers might have guessed it already, but we're talking about the latest edition of the upscale retailer's Christmas Book. Reported by the Star Telegram, the Christmas Book is littered with items that cost way more than the last Target-bought gift from your sibling. Sure, there's a $100 and under section, but there's also a $64,500 Hermes watch, a $15,000 mink jacket and — our favorite section — the "delightfully over-the-top finds."
So what exactly do you buy for the "person who has it all?" According to Neiman Marcus, a $50,000 fridge, a $98,000 Scott West Brooch and a $450 ornament. And if that's for Christmas, why not bid on the next Paul Newman watch to go on sale for New Years? After all, the last one was auctioned off for a cool $17.8 million (roughly the annual salary of 300 middle-class employees).
Looks like the Grinch was wrong: Christmas really does come from a store. And that store is Neiman Marcus.
Stove Top unbuttons the Thanksgiving dress code
There comes a time in a man's life when khakis and jeans just don't cut it anymore and a good ole' pair of sweatpants is the only thing that will do. According to Stove Top, that time is Thanksgiving (and no, you shouldn't fight it).
For any Thanksgiving celebrators who object to the formal holiday dress code, Stove Top has a product for you: "Thanksgiving dinner pants." These classy trousers look like maroon jogger pants with an expandable waistband that hints at maternity wear. Except they're not aimed at mothers-to-be: they're targeting your average Joe who piled on a bit too much stuffing at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
If we're being honest, who hasn't been there?
"You try to unbutton your pants for relief, but they're too tight! You're trapped!" the brand describes in a video promoting the pants. The solution is, the brand said, pants with a stretchy waistband that retail for just $19.98 (that is, until they sold out). Is Stove Top aware of the pun they're making? Yes, yes they are.
"Don't spend your hard-earned money on fancy maternity pants. Let Stove Top Thanksgiving dinner pants handle that precious… bun in the oven."
KFC helps shoppers 'escape' commercialism with $10,000 product
As much as some of us might like to think Thanksgiving weekend is all about being grateful, in this industry we know it's also all about shopping — and nobody knows that better than KFC.
In what's becoming a trend for the company, KFC released a multi-thousand dollar product specifically for those people not interested in shopping, Marketing Dive reports. The $10,000 "internet escape pod" is aimed at those trying to avoid being "bombarded with a hailstorm of coupons, BOGOs, hot dealz and brand advertising," according to the website.
If you think about it, it's actually a pretty good deal, considering KFC's last outlandish product was a $20,000 zinger meteorite — and yes, someone bought that. But the fried chicken specialist isn't the only retailer using Black Friday to have fun. Lowe's recently released a 17-minute Black Friday ad that featured four builders trapped in an escape room.
Either Lowe's is taking cues from Ikea's pointless ads or they're hoping that Black Friday shoppers will be more willing to part with their cash if they watch someone else suffer in a confined space first.
The black sheep of the toy market
And the award for weirdest toy to come out in 2017 goes to… the "L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise."
The strangely unnerving toy retails for $69.99 and contains 50 small toys within one shining, glittery ball of choking hazards. The toy, which was released in September, sold out in 48 hours, according to Business Insider, so any parents looking to avoid buying one for their children can use that as an excuse for why there isn't an oddly-shaped ball under the tree.
A warning, though, for all parents whose kids have their hearts set on the L.O.L Surprise! Big Surprise toy: this probably isn't the year to get your kid a soccer ball, tennis ball or really any type of round object.
Hell hath no fury like a child scorned.