Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Invasion of the robo-hamsters


Check out the Zhu Zhu Pet airlift of 2009. ZhuZhuworld

Wal-Mart is flying and trucking in hundreds of thousands of the robotic varmints to lure shoppers into the doors during the last days before Christmas.

The fake pets — which have presumably turned 1,00s of children into Zhu Zhu pests to their parents and grandparents — will be soldĀ  starting at 7 a.m. on Dec. 21-Dec. 23, with stores each getting a limited amount.

The move by Wal-Mart comes as consumers continue to wait until the last minute to get the best deals. The National Retail Federation says only 46.7 percent of consumers had completed their holiday shopping by the second week of December, a five-year low.

With Christmas on a Friday this year, some analysts think shoppers may even pass up “Super Saturday” — the Saturday before Christmas and typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year — and shop next week instead.

Black Friday: First Blood Part II


hamstersWe were wondering earlier today how much longer it would take until customers shopping for Black Friday deals got rowdy. We told you about one shoving match in Centennial, Colorado, that involved dropping a little old lady. Now we have a “disturbance” at a Walmart store in Upland, California, near Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California’s Inland Empire. What motivates some of these attacks? Toy hamsters! (See our earlier entry on this phenomenon. Also, look toward the bottom of this blog entry.)

The San Bernardino Sun reported details:

“Upland police officers received reports of the disturbance about 2:45 a.m. Friday and sent about four officers to the store at 1540 W. Foothill Boulevard, Lt. Jim Etchason said. ‘A manager at the store called it in to the police department,’ Etchason said. ‘(The manager) said numerous customers were causing a disturbance with each other.’”