It’s not just you: It’s still nearly impossible to buy a PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 purchase
A customer buying Sony’s PlayStation 5.

  • It’s been over five months since the PlayStation 5 launched, and it’s still very difficult to buy.
  • Despite regular restocking, PS5 consoles sell out instantly through Sony and major chains.
  • Supply of the console isn’t expected to meet demand until this fall at the earliest, Sony said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the PlayStation 5 launched in fall 2020, it was nearly impossible to find.

Five months later, with spring just days away, Sony’s wildly popular game console remains as elusive as ever.

Though resupplies have been frequent, demand for the PS5 continues to vastly outstrip supply. And when the resupplies do go live, people overwhelm digital storefronts in a mad dash to maybe, hopefully, finally get a PlayStation 5.

More often than not, they are met with disappointment.

During a three-hour PS5 resupply marathon that Walmart spaced out in ten minute intervals on Thursday, Insider repeatedly encountered errors or crashes while trying to purchase the console. The item couldn’t be added to the cart, or the website would hang while trying to load, or it simply did nothing after clicking an input.

Each time, even when the website did technically “work,” the same result: The resupply sold out instantly.

Walmart websites, PS5 restock, March 2021
A restock of the PS5 was made available at 3:00 pm. By 3:01 pm., supplies were exhausted.

Those issues were echoed by other people attempting to buy the new console.

“I was able to add the PS5 to my cart, get all the way to the payment method, and then it said item out of stock,” one Twitter user said.

“None of it is working,” another Twitter user said. “I keep trying and it [doesn’t] want to let me get it in the cart.”

Those same errors and near-instant sellouts persisted in ten minute intervals throughout the three hours of PS5 stock resupplies on Walmart’s web store.

Beyond the technical issues retailers are having, and the overwhelming demand from consumers for Sony’s latest PlayStation console, many are still being swept up by resellers – some of whom are using bots to beat out human buyers.

A quick look at resale websites like StockX demonstrates why: Resellers are offering the PS5 for about $730 as of this week – just shy of a 50% markup over the $500 retail price of a PlayStation 5 model with a Blu-ray disc drive. Over on eBay, both versions of the PlayStation 5 are going for $700 and up.

eBay PlayStation 5
The top results for PlayStation 5 consoles in the “Buy it Now” section of eBay.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Sony will be able to catch up with demand anytime soon.

In several interviews in late February, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan warned of an ongoing supply issue continuing through the second half of 2021.

“By the time we get to the second half [of the year], you’re going to be seeing really decent numbers indeed,” PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told the Financial Times in February. Though the company has, “been relentless in terms of trying to increase production,” he said, some obstacles are out of the company’s hands.

The global microchip shortage and the ongoing global pandemic are both impacting Sony’s ability to produce more PS5s, for instance, but Ryan said the supply situation, “will start to get better hopefully quite quickly.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More than 1000 stores are closing in 2021 as the retail apocalypse drags on. Here’s the full list.

empty mall for lease
A strip mall store sits empty April 7, 2008 in Ontario, California.

  • Retailers have confirmed more than 1000 store closures in 2021 so far.
  • Disney, Best Buy, and Macy’s are a few of the stores planning to close locations this year.
  • More than 8,000 US stores closed last year, and experts predict 10,000 possible closures in 2021.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Retailers have announced plans to close more than 1000 stores this year, and experts say the total could reach 10,000 stores or more.

Mass closures, referred to as the retail apocalypse, have continued over the past few years. In 2020, more than 8,300 US stores closed, following 9,300 in 2019, according to Insider analysis. Research firm Coresignt predicts this trend will continue into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic made online orders surge over the past year, but it wreaked havoc on brick and mortar retailers. Other retailers that didn’t close filed for bankruptcy, including J Crew, Nieman Marcus, and JCPenney.

Here’s a list of stores expected to close this year.

Disney: 60 stores

GettyImages 1230737834
Disney store.

Disney plans to close 60 stores across North America by the end of 2021 to focus on e-commerce, the company announced.

The closures will affect 20% of Disney’s 300 global retail stores before it looks at more potential closures, especially in Europe, according to CNBC. Japan and China will not be affected. Disney also acknowledged that this change would lead to layoffs but declined to say how many people will be impacted.

Best Buy: 5

Best Buy

Best Buy is closing five stores across the US in early 2021, the retailer confirmed to four local news outlets.

The retailer plans to close two Richmond, Virginia area stores, along with one store each in Syracuse, New York, Carbondale, Illinois, and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Francesca’s: 140

francesca's

Francesca’s filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in December and closed 140 of 700 total stores in January.

Read more: The CEO of Planet Fitness is preparing for a brick-and-mortar fitness boom as the company creates content to disrupt digital offerings made popular by the pandemic

Macy’s: 45

Macy's

Macy’s told employees at 45 locations that their stores would close in 2021, CNBC first reported.

The closures are part of the plan the retailer announced back in February 2020 to close 125 stores by 2023, about one-fifth of total locations. At the time, Macy’s also announced that it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Bed Bath and Beyond: 43

bed bath and beynod

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond closed 43 stores in February, after 63 closures in 2020.

Paper Source: 11

Paper source store

Greeting card store Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced plans to close 11 of its 158 stores.

Goodwill: 8

Goodwill store

Goodwill announced plans to close eight Bay Area stores this year.

The Children’s Place: 122

The Children's Place

Children’s retail apparel chain The Children’s Place plans to close 122 stores in 2021 to complete the 300 closure goal it previously announced, according to fourth-quarter earnings.

Justice: 200

Loft Outlet

Owner Ascena Retail Group, which also owns Ann Taylor and Loft, announced plans to close the remaining 200 Justice stores.

H&M: 350

GettyImages 1216823191
Shoppers walk past a H&M store in north London, UK.

Fast fashion retailer H&M plans to close 350 stores in 2021 and open 100, for a net loss of 250 stores. The company cited a rise in e-commerce.

Fossil: 65

Fossil store

Accessories retailer Fossil is closing at least 65 stores after decreased sales in 2020, BisNow reported.

DSW: 65

DSW

DSW has plans to close 65 stores over the next four years, making up 10% of total locations after a 36% drop in sales in 2020, Biz Journals reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More than 400 stores are closing in 2021 as the retail apocalypse drags on. Here’s the full list.

empty mall for lease
A strip mall store sits empty April 7, 2008 in Ontario, California.

  • Retailers have confirmed more than 400 store closures in 2021 so far.
  • Disney, Best Buy, and Macy’s are a few of the stores planning to close locations this year.
  • More than 8,000 US stores closed last year, and experts predict 10,000 possible closures in 2021.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Retailers have announced plans to close more than 300 stores this year, and experts say the total could reach 10,000 stores or more.

Mass closures, referred to as the retail apocalypse, have continued over the past few years. In 2020, more than 8,300 US stores closed, following 9,300 in 2019, according to Insider analysis. Research firm Coresignt predicts this trend will continue into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic made online orders surge over the past year, but it wreaked havoc on brick and mortar retailers. Other retailers that didn’t close filed for bankruptcy, including J Crew, Nieman Marcus, and JCPenney.

Here’s a list of stores expected to close this year.

Disney: 60 stores

GettyImages 1230737834
Disney store.

Disney plans to close 60 stores across North America by the end of 2021 to focus on e-commerce, the company announced.

The closures will affect 20% of Disney’s 300 global retail stores before it looks at more potential closures, especially in Europe, according to CNBC. Japan and China will not be affected. Disney also acknowledged that this change would lead to layoffs but declined to say how many people will be impacted.

Best Buy: 5

Best Buy

Best Buy is closing five stores across the US in early 2021, the retailer confirmed to four local news outlets.

The retailer plans to close two Richmond, Virginia area stores, along with one store each in Syracuse, New York, Carbondale, Illinois, and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Francesca’s: 140

francesca's

Francesca’s filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in December and closed 140 of 700 total stores in January.

Read more: The CEO of Planet Fitness is preparing for a brick-and-mortar fitness boom as the company creates content to disrupt digital offerings made popular by the pandemic

Macy’s: 45

Macy's

Macy’s told employees at 45 locations that their stores would close in 2021, CNBC first reported.

The closures are part of the plan the retailer announced back in February 2020 to close 125 stores by 2023, about one-fifth of total locations. At the time, Macy’s also announced that it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Bed Bath and Beyond: 43

bed bath and beynod

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond closed 43 stores in February, after 63 closures in 2020.

Paper Source: 11

Paper source store

Greeting card store Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced plans to close 11 of its 158 stores.

Goodwill: 8

Goodwill store

Goodwill announced plans to close eight Bay Area stores this year.

The Children’s Place: 122

The Children's Place

Children’s retail apparel chain The Children’s Place plans to close 122 stores in 2021 to complete the 300 closure goal it previously announced, according to fourth-quarter earnings.

Read the original article on Business Insider

6 stores that offer free holiday shipping with no order minimum – including Nordstrom and Target

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How to spot fake products on Amazon
Free shipping with no minimum order requirement is a big perk for the holiday season, and many retailers offer it just for the occasion.

Free shipping is one of the best perks an online store can offer. It always feels good to save a few extra bucks, and it decreases the pressure to fill your cart with unnecessary items to reach an order minimum. Many stores already offer free shipping all year long, but they tend to be startups with more specialized wares. 

Just for the holidays, however, a few stores where you can shop for pretty much anything are relaxing their shipping policies and giving you free shipping on your order with no order minimum required, though oftentimes you’ll need to be a member of their subscription services. 

These are the stores offering free shipping for the holiday season:

1. Amazon

Just as it does for the rest of the year, Amazon offers free shipping for Amazon Prime members during the holiday season. If you aren’t a member, the minimum order requirement to get free shipping is $25. The vast selection of hundreds of millions of products from the retailer makes it easy to pick up a cheap stocking stuffer alongside a thoughtful gift for your in-laws

2. Target

Though it’s not limited to the holiday season, Target offers free shipping to REDcard holders year-round, no minimum order required. Otherwise, you’ll need to hit a $35 order threshold to get free 2-day shipping.

Target is a good place to snag a Christmas tree to arrive before the day of or find gifts for everyone in your life who could possibly need gifting.

3. Macy’s

Macy’s offers free shipping without minimum order during the holiday season, as well as every other season, provided you use a Macy’s Credit card. A one-stop-shop for gifts for every member of the family, Macy’s is the place to go for apparel for everyone in the family, along with home appliances big and small.

4. Nordstrom

Nordstrom also offers free shipping during the pivotal holiday shopping season – actually, it does so the rest of the year, too, but we think it’s worth emphasizing as you search for luxe gifts for your designer-inclined friend and limited-time collaborations you can’t find anywhere else. It won’t be as fast as Amazon or Target, which both have two-day policies for most items, but at least it’s still free. 

5. Walmart

Walmart’s new service, Walmart Plus, offers its members free unlimited delivery as early as the same day, no minimum order required. As of December 4, Walmart Plus has eliminated its $35 shipping minimum for Walmart.com.

If you have yet to try the service out, it’s free to sign up for a 15-day trial – it’s also good timing if you’d like to take advantage of the free shipping before December 25.

6. Zappos

Zappos offers free shipping to shoppers year-round, with no minimums or exclusions. The retailer’s vast catalog offers apparel for the whole family, perfect for the gift-giving season. Zappos does note, however, that shipping times may be delayed, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on your shipping arrival estimate if you have a deadline to make.

Looking for gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ holiday gift guides for 2020 here.

Read the original article on Business Insider