Following on from the last entry, has anyone else noticed how the January Sales didn’t actually seem to contain any genuine bargains this year?
On Christmas Eve, I dashed up to the shops for a last-minute present for one of my sons. I’d been looking for something else & just hadn’t found it, so I thought I’d buy a decent t-shirt or something similar for him to unwrap on The Day – this one in particular is still easily impressed by a brand name. And just like last year, a local store had put out its Sale signs, and the staff were slapping on the Reduced labels. I picked up some good bargains there last year. So I headed for the t-shirt rails and stopped dead in my tracks; t-shirts were “reduced” to £48.50. Sweatshirts were “down” to an eyewatering £80. We are NOT talking about designer garments, just fairly-pleasant chain-store activewear. For a few moments I actually felt quite disorientated – have I somehow slipped below the poverty line, that I consider these prices to be anything but bargains? I spotted one of my neighbours, who I know not to be well-off, with an armful of garments for her sons. She staggered over to the till, gasped in horror at the total, but whipped a credit card out to pay, muttering, “Well, at least they’re reduced…”
Forgive me, but I can’t help seeing “Sales” like that as a cynical marketing exercise. Or does everyone else happily pay in excess of £50 per t-shirt on a regular basis? I’ve been to several other shops during the Sale period ( I don’t need a lot of stuff – in fact I need to get rid of a lot of stuff!) and have been equally unimpressed; all I’ve actually bought is one pair of much-needed sturdy practical boots, down from £60 to £40, and some cracker snaps towards next Christmas. The sight of two elderly ladies squawking with glee at a pack of three Cath Kidston-style tea towels “reduced” to £12.99 had me utterly gobsmacked. Yes, they were very pretty. But are three tea towels actually worth £13? Would anyone ever have paid more for them?
Am I stuck in a time-warp here, or possibly just as stingy as my kids have always claimed? Or are the days of genuine bargains at the dawn of the New Year behind us now?