It's been another weird week in retail.
Neiman Marcus is capitalizing on holiday cheer to strip customers of their paychecks, Ikea launched a series of ads that are literally designed to waste your time and Balenciaga turned a rubber car mat into a $2,000 skirt.
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 you could squander your entire salary on."
And 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 your sibling got you. 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.
Ikea: bringing pointless ads to a YouTube channel near you
While the rest of us were busy assembling a piece of Ikea furniture, the Swedish retailer became the veritable master of comical marketing ploys.
From the Game of Thrones-inspired "Vinter Skuldervarmer" to the 99-cent Frakta bag craze and — most recently — the playful dig at Apple's wireless charging announcement, Ikea has been on the frontlines of making marketing fun again. This week, that meant starting the "Where Life Happens" ad campaign, with a series of "Irresistible pointless trueview ads," CNBC reports.
In a similar move to its 25-minute sensory-driven back-to-school ad, released in August, Ikea's pointless ads are a serious time commitment for any viewer (and one that makes you question whether anyone actually takes the time to watch). Ranging in length from four and a half minutes to nearly nine, the ads show everyday people doing, well, everyday things. In one, a girl kisses her boyfriend, in another a boy washes the dishes and in a third, two men arm wrestle — all the while encouraging the viewer to go ahead and skip the ad.
Maybe Ikea's on to something… or maybe it's just wasting your time.
Balenciaga drives women's fashion off the edge
If the name isn't revealing enough, this particular article of clothing looks like it was inspired by the rubber car mat in your Buick, complete with "structured rigid leather," "Jupe Car Design" lining, a "snap fastening" and, as with every Balenciaga product, a "contrasted Balenciaga logo." Not to mention a $2,450 markup — but that's become standard for any Balenciaga product.
After all, if Balenciaga customers are willing to pay $1,819 for a shopping bag, nearly $800 for a pair of dad sneakers and $695 for shoes that look like socks, then why not make common car parts into fashion too?
Although, as several members of the Twitterverse pointed out, you could always just… buy a car mat and construct the look for a fraction of the price.
just call it the "Skkrrrt Skirt" and be done with it https://t.co/HCsM7GuxAs— Bodak Horseman (@broazay) October 27, 2017
"We're not designer fashion experts, but..." https://t.co/Kn38jTmYzb— TAXI (@designtaxi) October 30, 2017
Target says shalom to Hanukkah jumpsuits
The holiday season often brings out the worst in clothing choices. It's a time of ugly Christmas sweaters, ill-fitting seasonal turtlenecks and, according to Target, velvet Hanukkah jumpsuits.
Covered in menorahs, gift-wrapped boxes and dreidels, Target's $29.99 offering looks like something a mother forces her daughter into for the dreaded family get-together… when she's eight.
Judging by the model and its place in the "Juniors" department, though, this jumpsuit is, in fact, meant for young adults. With two snaps in the front and a look not unlike pajamas, we can only imagine Target is trying to capitalize on the niche crowd obsessed with overalls.
Pair with a white T-shirt and the remaining shreds of your dignity for a look that says "my family hates me" and "boy, do I love Hanukkah" at the same time.