Friday, October 24, 2008

Lowest Prices of the Season

That tag line doesn't mean much. The prices are the lowest until... well... next week. As the season passes and merchandise languishes on the shelves and racks, prices drop. It doesn't matter what season it is; it's the way retail works. When the season is over, anything remaining goes on clearance racks.

You've got to hunt for these racks sometimes. Stores would rather have you buy the things that just showed up in the store with higher prices, so they'll tuck their clearance racks in a little corner in the back. It's for the same reason that milk is at the back of the grocery store; the retailers are hoping you'll be lured by something else on the way there. I say, put the blinders on and run.

I see all the major department stores (JC Penney, Kohl's, Macy's, K-mart) rolling out their print and television ads promising the lowest prices of the season, and they probably are this week. If you don't really need something now, wait. You'll see the same ad next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, ad nauseum.

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