It’s been another weird week in retail.
French grocer Monoprix publicly shamed Amazon Go with its own "futuristic" video parody, Sam’s Club started selling a (hopefully not very absorbent) maxi pad pool float and Hobby Lobby returned it’s smuggled Iraqi artifacts.
This, and more, in this week’s Retail Therapy.
Monoprix spoils Amazon Go’s spotlight
If Amazon is the bully on the retail playground, then French grocer Monoprix is the smug kid who publicly embarrasses them in the climax of the film.
Back in December, Amazon released a Youtube video describing what it believed to be a futuristic, industry-shattering service poised to eliminate the very thing customers hate most about shopping — actually checking out.
Some in the industry were awed by the tech’s potential to redefine physical retail — but others? Not so much (And can you really blame them considering the big tech hiccup that’s been holding up a roll out?)
In an ideal world, here's how Amazon hopes we all shop someday.
In the real world, Monoprix says its customers already do shop like this, to some extent.
In a pithy jab at Amazon, the grocer published an almost frame-by-frame parody of Amazon Go's so-called earth shattering video, featuring its own decade-old service, “Livraison à domicile +,” which allows customers to shop in-store and have groceries delivered to their home within an hour, GeekWire reported this week.
Turns out Amazon’s script wasn’t safe either. “Over 10 years ago, we were wondering what would shopping look like if you could walk into a store, grab what you want, and just go?,” the video quipped.
Sacré bleu! Watch out, Amazon — somebody’s coming for you and it’s not the British.
Sam's Club's pool floats could soak up more than just sun
When’s the last time you sat languidly by the water, lounging on a pool float that looks like a fresh-out-of-the-box maxi pad? Never? Well boy, does Sam's Club have a product for you — and just in time for the summer.
In a move that has left women everywhere wondering what man chose to design a product with their time of the month in mind, Mashable reports Sam’s Club and Amazon this week began selling the Aquaria Pasadena Pool Float — which looks more like it belongs in an Always box than in a pool float aisle.
Club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club have thrived off of a strategy that gets customers to fill their carts with more than they'd planned to pick up, with bulk products of every sort filling the aisles and tempting shoppers. But until recently, its assortment did not include feminine hygiene products the size of an adult woman.
In a world where Costco’s got people crying over out-of-stock golf balls and writing college essays about them, Sam’s Club has been left to suffer the wrath of women on Twitter who were quick to point out that the woefully ignorant product could have been saved with the help of a focus group including people who have actually seen a maxi pad in real life. What went wrong, Sam’s Club?
Focus group. This could have been avoided with 1 focus group (of women). pic.twitter.com/C76lv5ji33— Jillian David (@JillianDavid13) July 3, 2017
Probably the only product that'll get me through one day of my period.— General Chach Organa (@ChachiBobinks) July 4, 2017
To Hell with it - let's complete the theme and have a pool noodle that looks like a tampon.— Kirsten R. (@kelisabeth38) July 5, 2017
If you don't want to lose this on the pool deck, just pull off the adhesive strip on the back and attach it to your chair!— Becky McG. (@bmmcgar) July 3, 2017
Hobby Lobby does the Christian thing, returns stolen artifacts
This week, Hobby Lobby came under fire for purchasing falsely labeled items from a United Arab Emirates-based supplier. According to CNN, Hobby Lobby was warned that the items were “likely from Iraq” and “may have been looted from archaeological sites.”
To the surprise of no one, it’s actually illegal to buy illicit cultural artifacts and have them shipped to your store. As a result, the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby has agreed to pay a $3 million fine — thwarting all who thought a price couldn’t be put on culture — along with returning the stolen artifacts.
So, why would Hobby Lobby purchase historical artifacts from Iraq? “Developing a collection of historically and religiously important books and artifacts about the Bible is consistent with the company’s mission and passion for the bible,” according to a company statement.
Unfortunately for Hobby Lobby, the Good Samaritan claim didn’t play too well on Twitter.
Did they not watch any of the Indiana Jones movies? Shit like this does not end well. P.S. Umm #ThouShallNotSteal— Michelle Vicari (@Eggface) July 5, 2017
Birth control = bad. Looting = God's will.— Mercy Otis Warren (@babsben) July 5, 2017
Hobby Lobby be like pic.twitter.com/bpPNnT9EUJ— Humanityv.Trump (@BlueHumanity) July 6, 2017
Wait. Rich people pretending to be religious and being immoral... what does that remind me of?— Josien van Lanen (@josienvanlanen) July 6, 2017
Sunny Co swimmers are finally getting that red bathing suit
There was a time, long ago, when Twitter was overrun by a single picture: a woman in a red bathing suit.
Two long months ago, Sunny Co. Clothing nearly broke social media with a swimsuit promotion that encouraged users to share a photo of a woman in one of their red "Pamela" Sunny Suits and tag the brand for a chance to win a free $64.99 suit. But 334,000 likes on Instagram later... the brand suggested it might have to shut down the offer due to high volume and delays could be in order.
Two months is quite the delay, but eager Instagrammers this week finally got the viral bathing suit, Teen Vogue reported. Doubters of the promotion are drowning amidst a wave of “told-you-so’s” and “#sunnycoclothing” comments on social media. Haters have perhaps never faced sass like this before.
While some loyal fans are happy to finally have the free product, the brand certainly took a beating. Giving away 346,000 swimsuits for free has got to cut into your profits. As it turns out, #doitfortheinsta might not be the best business motto.