It's been another weird week in retail. Smirnoff Ice unveiled a (faux) luxury home collection, Costco aimed to take some of the work out of the holidays and Popeyes rolled out a product to wrap its chicken sandwich fans in warmth all season long.
This, and more, in this week's retail therapy.
Naughty or N(ice), Smirnoff has all the gifts needed for a White Elephant exchange
The beverage that few are excited to receive, but many are thrilled to give, unveiled a collection of holiday gag gifts.
Earlier this week, "Cremsiffino, the premium imported home goods brand and Smirnoff Ice, announced that they are teaming up for an out-of-the-box product collaboration that is sure to spice up your holiday white elephant parties."
But if you're scratching your head wondering, "What the heck is Cremsiffino?" you're not alone. The brand is as fake as the products described on each gift's box. While the boxes say they contain items like one-of-a-kind wooden clothing hangers, hand mixers or mini ironing boards, recipients will actually be unwrapping a Smirnoff Ice. That's right, "Icing" — the act of hiding a Smirnoff Ice for someone to discover, and subsequently chug the entire thing — has never been made easier.
Each box, which includes one Original Smirnoff Ice inside, will set consumers back $20. But for those who want a bit more freedom with what goes inside, Smirnoff is also selling empty boxes for $10. If that price seems a bit steep for, you know, a cardboard box and one of the cheapest alcoholic beverages available, just remember this: You can't put a price on the joy that comes with owning the gift exchange.
Costco makes a holiday tradition easier
The holiday season is a sugar-filled time full of sweets and treats, so much so that decorating a house made entirely of the substance has become a mainstay in many homes.
And while assembling a gingerbread house seems like a great, festive idea, those ambitious enough to attempt this feat will likely attest to the fact that it isn't as easy (or fun) as it appears.
But thankfully Costco brought back a product made for those of us that have created something that looks less "wonderland" and more "apocalypse."
Consumers can now purchase a pre-built gingerbread house at the club retailer, Instagram account @Costcohiddengems pointed out recently.
While Costco's website doesn't include information on the product, the pre-built gingerbread house is reportedly just under $10, according to a post from Instagram account @costcohotfinds. The price seems fair if it means keeping the spirit and peace alive through the season.
And let's be clear on one thing: The houses still require decorations, so Costco took all the worst parts of the experience out and left us with the fun stuff. Just the way we like it.
Popeyes next chicken sandwich venture: apparel
A wrap-up of the biggest pop culture moments of the year, and possibly the decade, wouldn't be complete without a nod to the chicken sandwich wars. And a major player in that, obviously, was the Popeyes chicken sandwich.
When the fast-food restaurant introduced the sandwich in August, people went nuts. The company sold out of the product in just two weeks — a supply that it expected to last three months. And when it returned in November, Popeyes reportedly ran out of sandwiches at some restaurants for a second time, Bloomberg reported.
Seriously, this sandwich has grown to have a cult-like following. So to capitalize on the product's success, the company announced this week it is selling a limited-edition "Popeyes Ugly Christmas Sweater" just in time for the holidays.
The most devoted fans can purchase the sweater online for $44.95, and considering someone tried to sell the actual sandwich on eBay for $7,000 after it sold out, this is a real steal.
This is far from the first time a fast-food restaurant has tried to get into the holiday spirit. Last year, Taco Bell released sweaters inspired by Friendsgiving, and this year Skyline Chili, Red Lobster and Whattaburger, among others, have announced their own holiday-themed apparel.
But unfortunately for consumers, the Popeyes chicken sandwich sweater sold out faster than the product it was based on.
In bid for on-demand delivery, Old Navy forms unlikely partnership
The Gap Inc.-owned brand announced this week it has partnered with Postmates to offer on-demand delivery services for consumers who use the retailer's buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) fulfillment option. Because an apparel retailer and a company that primarily delivers takeout to your door teaming up makes total sense.
The service is available to consumers in the more than 4,000 cities Postmates operates in, according to a company press release. And luckily for those of us that want the luxury of convenience without the price, the two companies are offering free delivery from Dec. 21 - 23 from Old Navy stores to customers who select to use BOPIS. For any other day this season, the service will set customers back $8.99 per delivery order, per a CNBC report, unless they are Postmates Unlimited members (a subscription service that costs $9.99 per month).
While the tie-up may raise some eyebrows, it's not the first time Old Navy has taken unusual measures to secure holiday sales and promote its BOPIS service, which launched in 2018. Last year, the retailer formed a partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft to offer BOPIS-using consumers rides to-and-from Old Navy stores for two Saturdays in December.
"We're always looking for ways to create an incredible shopping experience for our customers regardless of where, when and how they choose to shop with us," Old Navy Global Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Gersch said in a statement.
We can't help but wonder what partnership Old Navy will announce next year. One involving scooters? Maybe drones? Or perhaps products will be delivered via the flame engulfed D.C. Metro?? Really, the possibilities are endless.