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  Friday, 12 Jul 2013 | 9:08 AM ET

Best Buy: Give us your tired, poor iPads

Best Buy retail
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Best Buy will offer a weekend trade-in event that allows customers to exchange old, functional iPads for a $200 gift certificate, All Things D reported on Friday.

From Friday through Saturday, the Big Box store will let consumers use the gift card toward any purchases made either in its store or online, the site reported. In certain instances, the amount could actually exceed $200, depending on the model or condition of the tablet.

All Apple iPad trade-ins must be done at a Best Buy location, and the company plans to recycle the devices.

»Read more
  Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 | 1:48 PM ET

Wal-Mart to pull out of D.C. after wage vote

Posted By: Jeff Kagan
Getty Images

Wal-Mart is not happy with recently passed legislation to raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. So much so that the retail giant has said it will scrap three planned stores in the area.

Following the vote, Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo issued a statement regarding the future of D.C. Wal-Mart stores.

"‪Nothing has changed from our perspective: we will not pursue Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue and will start to review the financial and legal implications on the three stores already under construction. This was a difficult decision for us—and unfortunate news for most D.C. residents—but the Council has forced our hand," he said.

The decision to pass the bill came after a team of Wal-Mart executives and lobbyists delivered their ultimatum personally to D.C. Council members less than 24 hours before the vote.

By CNBC's Jeff Kagan.

»Read more
  Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 | 11:29 AM ET

Good grades ahead for back-to-school sales

Posted By: Courtney Reagan
Vitalina Rybakova | E+ | Getty Images

Around the country, many summer camp counselors are just learning their campers' names, but retailers' shelves are already stocked with fresh No. 2 pencils and crisp backpacks.

It's back-to-school time already. Although some kids in the Northeast have only just jumped off the school bus a few weeks ago, students in the southern half of the country begin heading back to their classrooms in mid-August, and retailers are at the ready to get them prepared.

There's a lot at stake. More than $84 billion was spent during the seven-week, back-to-school shopping season in 2012.

"Customers are telling us they want to have an early jump on things," said Demos Parneros, Staples North American Stores & Online president. "People come back-to-school shopping incrementally ... making two or three trips."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 | 12:07 PM ET

Pumped up kicks? Sneaker sales soar

Posted By: Stephanie Landsman
'Sneakerheads' frequently amass large collections of pricey sneakers. Pictured here, shoes from Jamie Penaloza's collection.
Source: Jaime Penaloza
'Sneakerheads' frequently amass large collections of pricey sneakers. Pictured here, shoes from Jamie Penaloza's collection.

Eighteen-year-old Mariah Durojaiye is always on the prowl for the most anticipated, trendiest sneakers. She's just one of a growing number of devoted sneaker buffs who will comb the Internet, camp out in the wee hours and pay top dollar for the most sought-after athletic shoes.

These aren't your old Reebok Pumps.

"It is like part of my culture. All of our friends are really big 'sneakerheads.' It is who we are," said Durojaiye. "There are so many different trends and styles and colors. It is a fun way to be fashionable."

»Read more
  Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 | 5:17 PM ET

Wal-Mart: We'll pull out of DC if wage bill passes

Getty Images

Wal-Mart was not happy with proposed legislation to raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C. So much so that the retail giant has threatened that it won't open at least three planned stores in the area if the bill passes, the Washington Post reports.

A team of Wal-Mart executives and lobbyists delivered the news personally to D.C. Council members less than 24 hours before the vote.

D.C. lawmakers weren't swayed by the ultimatum: They passed the bill late Wednesday. The bill, which still needs to be signed by the mayor and pass a congressional review period, raises the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour from the current $8.25 an hour for retailers with sales over $1 billion and retail spaces of 75,000 square feet or more. (Read the full article.)

»Read more
  Saturday, 6 Jul 2013 | 3:00 PM ET

Manufacturing Slump Not in the Mix for Vitamix

Posted By: Katie Little
Vitamix blender
Source: Vitamix | Facebook
Vitamix blender

Amid a slow growth environment for U.S. manufacturing, one American company is bucking the trend as consumers invest in high-end blenders to feed their new interest in healthy beverages.

Interest in juicing has jumped so much that juice extractors, citrus juicers, blenders, and food processors are now the top-growing small kitchen appliance categories, according to the NPD Group, a market-research firm. In the 12 months ended May 2013, blender sales totaled $784 million, and juice extractor sales measured $250 million.

High-end blender maker Vitamix has seen its sales rise too as a result. The privately held company reported that its net sales rose 52 percent last year from the year-ago period, and has tripled sales in the past four years.

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  Tuesday, 2 Jul 2013 | 10:39 AM ET

Sam Adams Takes Off Thanks to 'Sam Can,' JetBlue

Posted By: Tom Rotunno
Samuel Adams Boston Lager in a can.
Source: The Boston Beer Company
Samuel Adams Boston Lager in a can.

The "Sam Can" is cleared for takeoff.

The Boston Beer Company, the nation's largest craft brewer, is partnering with JetBlue Airways to make its newly canned beer available on JetBlue flights nationwide.

The "Sam Can," as it's known among beer drinkers, was unveiled to much fanfare in May after Samuel Adams founder and Chairman Jim Koch reversed his longstanding position that beer was best served in bottles. Koch claims Boston Beer spent two years and $1 million dollars to build a better beer can.

"Cans have gotten quite good today. (Ours) has a unique shape and a different lid, which means you get noticeably more flavor," said Koch. "It's not huge. I would call it a slight but noticeable difference, but it was an improvement over the standard beer can."

What's not slight is the boom in canned beer, which made up 53 percent of the market last year, versus 48 percent in 2006, according to industry trade group the Beer Institute. The number of craft brewers canning their beers has expanded from fewer than 50 in 2008 to 262 in 2012, according to industry website

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  Friday, 28 Jun 2013 | 6:45 AM ET

After Fall From Grace, Can Paula Deen Recover?

Posted By: Katie Little
Paula Deen
Getty Images
Paula Deen

Another day, another high-dollar deal lost for Paula Deen following a racial-slur controversy that's sent the Food Network and several large corporations, including Target and Wal-Mart, fleeing from the celebrity chef.

Despite the ongoing uproar, crisis management professionals say it's not too late to turn around this sinking ship. After all, Martha Stewart was able to rebound after spending time behind bars.

But Deen's path to recovery is a bit more complex.

»Read more
  Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 | 9:26 AM ET

Cap'n Crunch Eyes Down 'Mutinous Rumblings'

Posted By: Scott Stump
Cap'n Crunch responds to "ridiculous accusations leveled against me."
Source: realcapncrunch via YouTube
Cap'n Crunch responds to "ridiculous accusations leveled against me."

After being accused of being a mere commander, Cap'n Crunch has finally addressed the "mutinous rumblings" and "ridiculous accusations" about his rank.

(Related: Say It Ain't So! Cap'N Crunch Not Really a Captain?)

The cartoon cereal spokesman has been defending himself ever since a discerning cereal lover claimed that he is not a captain at all, but a commander. Navy captains wear four stripes on their uniforms, not the three that Cap'n Crunch sports, which is equivalent to the rank of commander. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Cap'n Crunch cereal, yet this is the first time there have been questions about the iconic pitchman's rank.

»Read more
  Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 | 11:39 AM ET

Target, Drug Maker End Ties With Paula Deen

Posted By: Vidya Rao
Cooking show host Paula Deen.
Getty Images
Cooking show host Paula Deen.

Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk and Target became the latest companies to distance themselves from Paula Deen on Thursday amid the racial controversy surrounding the celebrity chef.

The announcements Thursday came a day after Wal-Mart and Home Depot took similar action because of her use of the N-word.

»Read more

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  • From the products to the pitches to the people who buy them, we are a Consumer Nation. This blog focuses on all things consumer, taking the pulse of the attitudes that shape purchasing decisions, and providing insights that will help keep marketers, entrepreneurs and investors up-to-date on where trends are heading.


  • Christina Cheddar Berk is editor of's Consumer Nation and chief trend spotter.

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    Courtney Reagan is CNBC's Retail Reporter.

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    Tom is a Senior Editor and Assignment Desk Manager for CNBC TV. He also writes about the business of beer for

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