Sales? What sales?

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?

One thought on “Sales? What sales?

  1. shaheen January 26, 2012 / 5:41 pm

    Woaw that still quite pricey for a teatowel – I certainly would not pay that much for it, sale or no sale. Your right, hardly call it a sale this year. I’ve kept my money in my pockets this year, not that I have much of it for a start.

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