Retail

Dave via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4rTLFX

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and couples in love are expected to spend in the billions, but spending by singles may have even greater revenue potential. On today’s show, a look at China’s anti-Valentine’s holiday: Singles' Day and how it became the largest online shopping day in the world.

Then, from clamshell razors to electrolysis, humans have gone to great lengths to achieve a smooth, clean shave. We’ll take a look at the history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status in the U.S. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

The New Hampshire Retail Association expects us all to do more shopping this holiday season.  The group projects a 4.3 percent jump in sales, slightly higher than national forecasts.

In anticipation, New Hampshire retailers, warehouses and delivery services are recruiting temporary workers. And while that bodes well for the job market, not all employers and employees find what they’re looking for.

Taylor Quimby

I’ve got a little confession to make.  For about three years now, I’ve been buying and wearing boys' underwear.  Not toddler-sized briefs with Iron Man or Thomas the Tank Engine plastered on the butt, I’m talking about plainly colored, Boys' XL boxer briefs. The waist is the same as what I used to buy (a Men's Small) and the differences in style are negligible, but the price is another matter. In the case of one brand for example, Fruit of the Loom, a package containing three pairs of men’s small boxer briefs is $12.99.  A boys' XL of the same brand contains four pairs, and is priced at $9.99

Can I Return This?

Mar 26, 2014
_Weidz via flickr Creative Commons

I decided to officially test the limits of a no-questions-asked return policy and recreated a few 'real-life' return scenarios to one of L.L. Bean's PR representatives. Here's his response:

You can hear the full segment, and Virginia's interview with Adweek's Robert Klara right here.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

  After citing the latest unemployment statistics, many media reports add a note about the number not including “discouraged workers.”  Those are people who gave up after months of unemployment.  But there is another, much smaller group of people who have decided to make their own jobs, by starting a business.

New Hampshire retailers are expecting their holiday sales to be up four percent, slightly higher than what's expected nationally.   The Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire says 73 percent of those businesses surveyed are anticipating their 2013 holiday sales will be the same or better than last year.

ATOMIC Hot Links via flickr Creative Commons

Grand Theft Auto V, was released last week to rave reviews and record sales. The video game sold over 13 million copies in the first 24 hours and is projected to gross well over a billion dollars. Rockstar’s satirical crime series has regularly topped video game charts, but it’s just as often been presented as “exhibit a” in the debate over violent video games and whether they have a real-life influence on players. Grand Theft Auto III, the first mainstream success in the series, was at the center of one such debate in the early 2000’s, but a decade later the franchise is more popular than ever.

Joining us to talk a little bit about the history of how Grand Theft Auto became a household name and its legacy on the video game industry at large is Dr. Jeremy Saucier, the assistant director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Also with us is Jamin Warren, founder of video-game arts and culture company, Killscreen.

Richard Young in his shop
Sheryl Rich-Kern / NHPR

After the leftovers from a hefty Thanksgiving dinner are put away, it’s become a tradition for many consumers to head to the malls. But one shop-local initiative wants to lure customers away from the huge Black Friday sales — and stir up some excitement about downtown retail.

Fresh of Nashua
Courtesy of Fresh

Nashua’s downtown retail district is located only a few miles away from mammoth chain stores to the south and the recently-opened outlet center to the north in Merrimack.  As the holiday shopping season kicks off this weekend, the mom-and-pop stores face stiff competition.

Steve Rhodes via Flickr Creative Commons

Black Friday has long been a post-holiday shopping tradition for many Americans. During the last several years, customers have found their favorite stores opening ever-earlier in anticipation of growing demand. This time around, employees are fighting back against the early hours.

Emanuella Grinberg, writer with CNN.com’s Living Section, joins us to talk about her article “Retail Employees Fight Black Friday Creep.”