At a time when consumers are more engaged with their laptops and smartphones than associates in brick-and-mortar stores, retailers are using services to connect with them.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday through its foundation said it had donated $4.16 million to Goodwill Industries International, National Disability Institute and United Way Worldwide to support MyFreeTaxes Partnership, which offers free federal and state tax preparation and filing services both online and in person to eligible Americans, along with Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility education. MyFreeTaxes has helped 4.5 million families claim nearly $6 billion in tax credits and refunds online and in-person since 2009.
MyFreeTaxes, discussed by Wal-Mart today, is expected to help return an estimated $1.95 billion this year in total tax refunds, credits and tax preparation fee savings to qualified taxpayers, according to the retailer.
“In this difficult economic environment every dollar counts,” said Michelle Gilliard, senior director of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “To help ease the financial burden of the tax preparation process and make sure individuals and families receive their full tax refund, the Wal-Mart Foundation is pleased to partner with leading nonprofits to offer MyFreeTaxes, a completely free tax-filing service.”
Also on Tuesday, Sears said it had expanded its relationship with ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation, and unveiled the first Blink Direct Current Fast Charger stations at multiple Sears stores in Tennessee and Arizona. The stations allow Sears customers to charge an electric vehicle battery up to 80 percent capacity in less than 30 minutes, the fastest charge rate available.
“Our relationship with Sears will benefit businesses and communities alike,” said Ravi Brar, chief executive officer of ECOtality. “By continuing to install Blink charging stations at new locations, Sears is showing its commitment to clean energy with the added benefit of attracting an upscale and loyal consumer that research shows spends more time in-store than the average customer. We are delighted to work with such an iconic brand.”
“Sears Holdings is proud to do our part in driving clean energy,” said Rajan Penkar, senior vice president and president of supply chain for Sears Holdings. “The EV charging stations are offering a valuable service.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty