On Sunday, a stern talking woman gave some instruction to an obviously bewildered man. No, we are not talking about the Presidential Debate here. This particular exchange took place on Sunday afternoon, hours before the Clinton-Trump showdown, at a Lord & Taylor store in suburban Chicago.
A little background while I set the scene. When Barb and I moved from the old house into our temporary apartment, all of our furniture and most of our other possessions went into long term storage with our moving company. We kept just enough clothing to get us through the transition until the new house was completed. Among the clothes I planned to take with to the apartment was a box clearly labeled "Les's Sweaters-Take to Apartment." Unfortunately, during the very hectic day in August on which we moved out of the house, the moving company must have grabbed that box and added it to one of the crates bound for storage. So as the Bears lose and the temperature has started to drop, I find myself sweater-less and chilly.
I told Barb I had to go shopping for a sweater or two to tide me over--shopping being something I enjoy just a bit more than a trip to the dentist. She mentioned having a 20% off on everything coupon at Lord & Taylor, so after our mandatory daily visit to the construction site, we drove to Northbrook Court. We made it past the baby clothes (sorry grandkids, nothing new for you today) to the Men's Shop, and selected a couple of sweaters that would go with most of my wardrobe. We found a salesperson and headed to the register. Barb gave me the coupon and I looked at it for the first time. Here it is:
Can you read the fine print? That's over 100 brands excluded, including all regular priced Men's Wear! I defy anyone to find two articles of clothing they could purchase using that coupon. A costly full price purchase was looming, making less expensive Macy's seem more desirable. The saleswoman noticed my hesitation in completing the purchase and pulled out her Super Secret Bonus 20% Off Coupon. We sealed the deal and I was no longer sweater deprived.
I don't get it. Why is buying a sweater at a department store as complicated as negotiating a deal on a new car? I remember a few years ago when Ron Johnson became the CEO at J.C. Penney. He promised to offer everyday low prices and do away with all this sales/coupons nonsense. I cheered, but I was cheering alone. Retail sales at Penney's dropped 30%, JCP stock declined by 51% and Mr. Johnson was rapidly fired.
I guess most of us love our coupons and our sales that aren't really sales. Maybe I am the only one that hates it. But I'm. If you too think this is nuts, leave a comment, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd like to think I am not the lone voice in the crowd!
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