Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Beanie Baby maker tries again with presidential pooch


bo1If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

After pulling “Marvelous Malia” and “Sweet Sasha” Beanie Baby dolls inspired by President Barack Obama’s daughters due to a complaint from First Lady Michelle Obama, toymaker Ty is selling a new plush toy inspired by the nation’s First Puppy — Bo.

Ty said its $4.99 Bo toy debuted on April 16 and sold out within hours of hitting store shelves. A portion of the sale proeeds will go to support animal shelters, the company said.
Bo toys already are on auction on eBay, where one seller is seeking $2,050 for a set of “authenticated” Sasha and Malia Beanie Baby dolls. You can find other Beanie Baby retailers here.

The Obama’s search for a puppy entranced the nation and was one of Washington, D.C.’s most closely guarded secrets.

Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, beame an instant, international celebrity when the family introduced him to the world this week.

Coach head bullish on Obama


JAPAN/Coach Inc Chief Executive Lew Frankfort is optimistic about a future under Barack Obama

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Frankfort said he was confident the new  U.S.  president can help ease the minds of consumers, who spent much less on Coach bags and accessories during the 2008 holiday season than they did a year ago, leading the company to scale back expansion and lower prices.

Memo to Obama: Help Housing


Home Depot is hoping that U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama will take actions that will help bring the housing market out of its years-long slump.

As recent as early September, the retailer’s top executive said the housing market may be nearing the bottom of its decline. But that was before the financial crisis and rising unemployment took a toll on consumer confidence.

Which fashionista are you endorsing?


michele-obama.jpgIn politics, appearance is everything. And for politicians’ wives, looking great for the cameras is key, whether its the Jackie Kennedy-influenced sheaths favored by Michelle Obama, or the bold, jewel-tone colors Cindy McCain sported at the GOP convention this week.

And for designers, having your outfits worn by a potential First Lady certainly can’t hurt. Witness the press (and extra sales) generated for Chico’s White House Black Market chain after Michelle Obama wore a black and white scoop-neck day dress from the retailer during an appearance on ABC‘s “The View.”
Chico’s could use the lift, given over a year of dwindling sales at its main chain that caters to women over the age of 40. Earlier this week, it announced an endorsement deal with Debbie Phelps, who it said wore its clothes the whole time she was in Beijing cheering her son, Olympic champion Michael Phelps.