Sunday, January 02, 2011


Deep discounts

What a great sale they had going at Sears the other day!:

'Sale' sign that isn't really.

There were also some wildly misleading signs, like the one that was above the Dockers shirts saying that Dockers neckwear was 40% off. The ties were nowhere nearby, and the shirts were, indeed, selling at full price, no discount.

Caveat emptor.


Call me Paul said...

These kinds of things are often a product of computer generated sign software, and unexpected price changes. When the "sale" was planned, the regular price of the item may have been higher, so the sign was programmed with what we call a "save story" - that is a regular price, and a sale price. However, that sale was probably planned 3-6 months in advance, and in the intervening period, the regular price of the pants may have dropped - leading to an odd looking sign.

The retail business for whom I work often has similar issues. My favourite is a planned "every day low price" advertisement for which the item in question has a regular price reduction occur just before the sale starts. That situation will generate a sign that reads: regular price - $24.99. Sale - $29.99.

Oh, yes. The other necessary factor in seeing a sign like this on the sales floor is a robot-like, minimum-wage-paid, couldn't-care-less work force.

Barry Leiba said...

Thanks for the explanation, Paul — I had no idea it worked like that.

And, yes, I'm sure this sort of thing happens less often or not at all in smaller, mom-and-pop shops.

Brent said...

I just assumed the savings was in the third or fourth place past the decimal point.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Indeed, Paul.

K said...

Actually, the reasoning behind the sign is because if you read the top, it actually says "as advertised" - it is actually not a sale sign. Rather, because of certain policies Sears has, every rack must have a "sale" sign - even if nothing on that rack is truly on sale. Hence, you end up with as advertised price signs. Trust me, it's not fun to explain because the reasoning behind it is so ridculous.

Barry Leiba said...

Ridiculous, yes, but it's all marketing, isn't it? Thanks very much for the explanation.