It's been another weird week in retail.
Stranger Things fans went crazy for a "thunder lizard" hoodie, Cards Against Humanity launched a holiday promotion to buy land by the border and Prada started selling an $800 leather boot that's better-suited to a colonial reenactment than the red carpet.
This, and more, in this week's Retail Therapy.
Stranger Things have happened
They say a picture's worth a thousand words, but what they don't tell you is that a hit Netflix series is worth a hell of a lot more. Like, for example, $400,000 of sales — in one afternoon — for a brontosaurus sweatshirt.
The beneficiary? The Science Museum of Minnesota. The popular Midwestern attraction hit the pop cultural gold mine a few weeks ago, the Star Tribune reports, when Stranger Things came out with a second season that had one of its leading youngsters sporting a 1980s-style hoodie with a brontosaurus and "thunder lizard" printed on it.
According to the report, the museum was flooded by so many requests to buy the sweatshirt that they finally decided to stock it last week, fulfilling the dreams of every child (or adult) looking to emulate the fashion choices of a middle school boy. The product description urges customers to "turn your world upside down with our vintage Brontosaurus apparel," with one important caveat: "Walkie talkies not included."
And the best part? You don't have to take on a demogorgon to get it — just a few long lines.
Science Museum of Minnesota's 'Stranger Things' hoodie available starting today.
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) November 7, 2017
Cards Against Humanity heads to Mexico for the holidays
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, especially retailers. They can lead to angry customers, lost sales or — in the case of Cards Against Humanity — the purchase of a vacant plot of land on the Mexican border.
You read that correctly. Cards Against Humanity bought the land as part of a holiday promotion, CNN reports, asking customers to pay $15 for an "America-saving" gift box and, in return, vowing to make it as difficult as possible for President Donald Trump to build the wall. The website is full of helpful information and suggestions, like, "if you voted for Trump, you might want to sit this one out." And there's a clearly-defined mission statement as well. What is Cards Against Humanity doing? Saving America from, "injustice, lies, racism, the whole enchilada," according to the site.
For anyone out there thinking about handing over the $15 they had saved up for Girl Scout cookies, think again. The company sold out the holiday promotion within hours of opening it. And for those who already spent the $15 and are disappointed to realize it wasn't just for a new card pack, cancellations are a no-go: "We'd like to cancel the 2016 election, but neither of us is going to get what we want."
Say what you will about strange holiday promotions, but not everyone can bank their fourth quarter sales on a vacant plot of land, a lawyer and a political agenda.
These boots were meant for walking… in the 1700's
In a world where Mayflower dresses go for $450 and literally anything made by Balenciaga sells for more, it should be no surprise that Prada, with an overpriced paperclip already under the belt, would get into the game.
In a move that has Benjamin Franklin asking for his kicks back, Prada started selling the creatively-named "Leather Boots" for more than you probably paid for the last iPhone. The shoes are 30% off of the original $1,150 price tag, but don't say they're $800 — the luxury retailer is generously saving each customer one cent by charging $799.99 instead.
Unsurprisingly, the boots garnered the attention of social media and were the butt of many colonial-themed jokes, with one Facebook post calling them "some Air Christopher Columbuses" and claiming they come with "a powdered wig, a quill pen, and a free musket." According to the company, though, the most we can expect is a "buckle detail" and a "padded insole."
We'd like to say something in defense of Prada, but they walked right into that one.
Prada Leather Boots.— Steve West. (@AdedayoLaketu) November 9, 2017
It's poetic. pic.twitter.com/25xIol6L5J
Alibaba was kung fu fighting
Who ever said business and acting couldn't go hand in hand? For Jack Ma, founder of the wildly successful Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, they do.
With a short film that will have everyone thinking back to the last time they watched Karate Kid, Jack Ma starred in his very own kung fu movie, ABS-CBN reports. The seven-minute long film features the business owner battling against other kung fu masters, a sumo wrestler and even a female opponent before he drops this expertly-crafted line: "I don't hit women."
It might be an odd way for the Chinese retail guru to get some attention, but other people are paying hundreds of dollars to rent private jets for Instagram photos, so maybe this is just what CEO's do when they're looking for some internet love.
Rumors of a future Jeff Bezos-Jack Ma kung fu face-off are so far unconfirmed.