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Macy’s coupon fine print proves how not to offer a discount

Macy’s shows other businesses how not to offer a coupon, in offering fine print so complex, one would think there is literally no reason they would be allowed to use a simple coupon. Not good.

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Macy’s coupon fine print is painful

Every coupon has fine print. You can’t use it on big ticket items, you can’t use it after a certain date, you can’t combine it with another offer, and other standard restrictions that coupon users are accustomed to. But Macy’s ran a coupon some time back that serves as a fine example for other businesses of what not to do.

For using the coupon, Macy’s users are rewarded with a lovely $10 off one purchase of $25 off or more, which is great, until you read the fine print highlighted on The Consumerist today. The coupon is not new, nor is the idea that there are exclusions, but for any professional considering running a coupon, read on to learn how to tick off your consumers.

macy's coupon

Here’s the fine print:

Set aside for a moment that the coupon cannot be used from a smartphone and that shoppers must print the coupon at home as it is not available in the store, and set aside that it is only good for two days before 1:00pm only, and focus on what all you may not use the coupon for:

“VALID ON REGULAR, SALE & CLEARANCE PRICES IN STORE ONLY. COUPON CAN ONLY BE USED ONCE AND IS LIMITED TO ONE PER CUSTOMER. COUPON IS NOT VALID ON MORNING SPECIALS AND MUST BE SURRENDERED AT TIME OF PURCHASE.

*Valid Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8, 2007 until 1pm only. Cannot be combined with any savings pass, extra discount, or credit offer, except opening a new Macy’s account. Excludes Prior Purchases; Special Orders; Specials; Super Buys; Everyday Values; Cosmetics; Fragrances; Watches; Sunglasses; Optical; American Rag; I.N.C; Levi’s; Dockers; Lauren; Ralph Lauren; Michael Kors Shoes and Handbags; Coach; Dooney & Bourke; Juicy Couture Shoes, Handbags and Accessories; Cole Haan; Bridge and Designer Shoes and Handbags; Designer Intimate Apparel; DKNY, Material London, Buffalo, Hugo Boss, Claiborne, Nautica, Perry Ellis and Tasso Elba Men; Polo, Guess, Kenneth Cole, and Lacoste Men and Kids; Tommy Hilfiger Shoes, Men and Home; Tommy Bahama and Calvin Klein Men and Home; Kate Spade; Vera Wang; Martha Stewart Collection; Bedding by Barbara Barry; Michael Kors and Natori; Waterford; Baccarat; Lalique; China Dinnerware and Gifts; Regularprice Crystal and Silver; Westhof; All-Clad; Henckels; Electrics and Electronics; Holiday Lane Trim; Furniture; Area Rugs; Mattresses; Lease Departments; Gift Registry Kiosks; Restaurants; Macy’s Gift Cards; Gift Wrap; Services; Payment on Macy’s Credit Account; macysweddingchannel.com and macys.com.

Macy’s employees not eligible for Fine Jewelry extra discount.”

Forget about it

While there are not reports of Macy’s running fine print this ridiculous since, it restricted shoppers from buying, well, basically anything in the store. It would have been easier to say “Get $10 off full priced fine jewelry when you spend $25 or more on a single item,” or naming what shoppers can use a coupon for.

Customer service is about serving customers, and fine print may be standard in some industries, but a $10 coupon should never be complex. Businesses should only offer fine print on complex contracts, but here is the math we propose: one dollar per second is all it should take, so if you’re offering $10 off, it should take no more than 10 seconds to read a coupon from start to finish.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Business News

These stores refuse to start Black Friday early

(BUSINESS NEWS) There is a rising trend of stores being pressured to open their doors earlier and earlier each holiday weekend but these companies refuse.

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This year, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy are among a group of retail super villains who have decided it’s appropriate to begin the Black Friday shopping nightmare on Thanksgiving Day, with some opening as early as 5pm on Thursday.

As someone who has only had the misfortune of working the retail tornado of Black Friday once, I would never wish it upon anyone. Yet many stores feel pressured to begin the doorbusters earlier every year.

To compete with online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers implement drastic measures to get customers in stores during the discount season.

Last year, eMarketer reported internet users in their survey were likelier to shop online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been watching retail stores crumble as online shopping continues to dominate the market.

To lure in shoppers, physical stores must come up with deals so alluring that people would kill for them.

Literally. I just googled “did anyone die on Black Friday last year” and found out that there’s a handy site called Black Friday Death Count. The answer is yes, some people died last year in Black Friday-related incidents, and in fact two of the three deaths took place at separate Walmarts.

So that makes this year’s disturbingly early foray into deal hunting even less enticing.

While I don’t hold Thanksgiving sacred by any means, moving the even unholier Black Friday back to impede on a holiday is ludicrous. But a handful of heroes are saying no seriously guys, we’re not doing this.

Over fifty retailers are putting collectively putting their foot down, and will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. While some may still be party to next-day discounts, they’re at least taking a stand.

Here’s a list of all the places you can’t go on Thanksgiving, because mercifully they’re closed:

  • A.C. Moore
  • Abt Electronics
  • Academy Sports + Outdoors
  • At Home
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Blain’s Farm and Fleet
  • Burlington
  • Cabela’s
  • Cost Plus World Market
  • Costco
  • Craft Warehouse
  • Crate and Barrel
  • DSW – Designer Shoe Warehouse
  • Ethan Allen
  • Gardner-White Furniture
  • Guitar Center
  • H&M
  • Half Price Books
  • Harbor Freight
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods
  • Homesense
  • IKEA
  • JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores
  • Jos. A. Bank
  • La-Z-Boy (all corporately owned stores)
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Micro Center
  • Music & Arts
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Office Depot and OfficeMax
  • Outdoor Research (closed Black Friday too)
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Party City
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Publix
  • Raymour & Flanigan Furniture
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Sprint (Corporate & Dealer Owned Stores; Mall Kiosks May Open)
  • Staples
  • Sur La Table
  • The Container Store
  • The Original Mattress Factory
  • TJ Maxx
  • Tractor Supply
  • Trollbeads
  • Von Maur
  • West Marine

And while that’s a pretty hefty list, the fact remains that many unfortunate employees will have to show up to work on Thanksgiving when they should be taking naps, or avoiding helping their family clean up after lunch.

Thinking about some retailers’ decision to open a day early for Black Friday almost makes Cards Against Humanity’s crowdfunded hole stunt last year seem reasonable. Maybe if we’re lucky, the tradition of Black Friday will get sucked up in a black hole, never to plague us again.

I guess staying home is also an option. If you opt into the shopping this year, stay safe. And if you choose to do so on Thanksgiving, maybe just don’t tell anyone.

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Business News

Amazon is extending its takeover to sportswear

(BUSINESS NEWS) As Amazon continues its quest for total retail dominance, they are beginning to try their hand with sportswear.

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Because Amazon won’t settle until it controls every single market ever, the online retailing giant is, reportedly, gearing up to start offering its own sportswear line.

Rumors that the company might get into the workout gear game started circulating earlier this year when the company posted job listings for brand managers to help create “authentic activewear private label brands.”

They hired a brand manager for athletic wear in January.

Amazon has already been dabbling in the world of fashion, having created eight clothing brands since early last year, including a men’s shirt brand called Buttoned Down that is offered to Prime customers.

Insiders say that, while no long-term contracts have been signed so far, Amazon is negotiating with Makalot Industrials Co., a producer that makes sportswear for Gap, Uniqlo, and Kohl’s, as well as Eclat Textile Co., who provides textiles for Nike, Lululemon, and Under Armour.

Both Makalot and Eclat are based in Taiwan.

Apparently, these manufacturers are making small test batches for Amazon so they can run a trial on the concept. The fact that Amazon is working with experts in this market means they are serious about making a competitive, quality product.

Amazon currently sells about $10 billion worth of apparel, making it a serious competitor with brick-and-mortar retailers.

The workout wear market is a pretty big deal, so it would obviously be profitable if Amazon can come out with a good product. Customers are already crazy about Amazon’s online convenience and quick delivery, so they may be happy to find more options for sneakers and yoga pants.

On the other hand, private label brands that Amazon is already selling, such as Goodthreads and Lark & Ro may feel betrayed. Other sportswear brands can’t be too pleased either, with Nike reporting declines this quarter and Under Armour reducing its annual sales forecast.

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Business News

Ending a dismal year, Samsung says goodbye to CEO

(BUSINESS NEWS) Following a tumultuous year, Samsung now must face their CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, stepping down.

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Among exploding phones, recalled washing machines and an indicted former chairman, Samsung has had a rough year. Just as they start to get back on track, they have one more crisis to deal with.

Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung CEO, has officially announced his departure.

In a letter to the employees, Kwon announced his plans to leave the company by March of next year. His words touch on all of the typical sentiments, like that he “had been thinking long and hard about (leaving) for quite some time,” and that he wants to “move on to the next chapter in his life.”

What Kwon doesn’t make clear are his exact reasons for leaving.

He mentions that Samsung is in an “unprecedented crisis inside and out,” without sharing any specifics. Via his own words, Samsung needs to reshape their company to keep up with the ever-changing IT industry.

Kwon believes that young, fresh leadership could be the answer that Samsung needs.

Though Kwon’s departure may seem like another hit for the company, it could be a new chapter for Samsung as well.

And it is a change they desperately need. Recently, Samsung has made the headlines with scandal after scandal.

Earlier this year, Jay Y. Lee, former Vice chairman, was found guilty on multiple charges of bribery. The charge, which Lee is now serving five years in prison for, also resulted in the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung also lived through two major recalls this year. They officially took the Galaxy Note 7 off of the market after various accusations of batteries overheating led to fires.

Samsung also recalled 2.8 million washing machines because their “violent vibrations” caused some users to be injured.

Major scandals like these are enough for any company to flop. However, Samsung is still in the game. Kwon’s letter calls for the company to start anew, which is exactly what they need to do to stay afloat.

Of course, creating devices that do not cause injuries and fires will be a start. In addition, new leadership will keep the company relevant and hopefully, revive their reputation.

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