Wednesday, December 27

Sale Fail

I managed to hit the post-Christmas sales today. Specifically Lakeside, not that it matters; it wasn't very good. At all.

I usually haul quite a bit during the Winter sale season but today was just rubbish. There just wasn't anything good. In fact, I swear I bought a certain top from Gap last year, and even then it was for less.

Sales have slowly been degrading for the past couple of years. Where they were genuine times in which to pick up the stuff that didn't happen to sell during the regular shopping season, they now seem to be manufactured specifically to exploit the mass mania of people looking for a bargain. As an example, take Next.

While I was in uni, Next had some good stuff in their sales. Nothing spectacular, and certainly nothing I would have bought at full price, but they actually used to want to shift their unsold stock as quickly as possible by slashing tag prices, presumably at a loss.

So it was pretty accidental how they managed to become the king of rack sales. Once they got their mass following, they've decided to exploit them - sale items are now manufactured especially for the period (note how much stock they have!), and as a bonus they've also made people queue up from as early as 2am to get in. This, of course, has a self fuelling hype effect, and so everyone wants to see what they can grab, and once they do they buy to justify the effort. It's quite ingenious on Next's behalf.

And it's not just Next. Gap, River Island and most of the sportswear shops are following suit. I think Top Shop is still behaving itself, but I'm not really a fan so I don't know.

All this means that there's less stuff for the discerning (read: tight) bargain hunter. If you have some self awareness and control you can stop yourself from being sucked in, but that doesn't mean the quality of the good would improve either. And that's why I've returned empty handed today.

Still, there's always the New Years' Sale. Maybe they're saving the better stuff for then, after people have already spent money over the next few days. I do hope so; for the past ten years or so, the classical Winter Sale is generally what I've been using to top up my wardrobe, so I'd be pretty screwed otherwise.