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.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye