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.”
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
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye