Sunday, October 30, 2005

The vultures are circling...

At the mall today, I saw one of my favorite things -- a store going out of business.

OK -- I'm not completely heartless.  I feel bad for the people who will be out of work, the investors who lost their money, and everyone else who is being economically screwed by the store shutting down. 

But I'm talking about how it affects me as a shopper.

Some years ago, I lived in Philadelphia.  I lived a few blocks away from my office, and I walked to work every day.  My path to the office -- particularly when it was cold or rainy (which was fairly frequent, it being Philadelphia and all) took me through an indoor mall. 

An indoor mall where a Department Store was going out of business.

The first day, it said something like, "Everything Must Go!  10% off!"  And between then and the final day when they were pretty much selling the bare shelves, the price would adjust downward a bit until the end, when it was 90% off.

Since I passed by the store each day, I got to see the prices at which stuff actually went.  It was quite an education.

For example, the tea kettles.  When I went into the store on 40% off day, they had a huge stack of tea kettles.  Floor to ceiling.  Must've been over 50 of the little buggers, just standing there boxed up in the middle of the store.  And nobody was buying them.  On 50% off day, I bought a tea kettle.  So did everyone else.  By 60% off, you couldn't find a tea kettle in the whole darned store.  Apparently, a half-priced tea kettle is just too good to pass up -- even if you don't really need a tea kettle.

On the other hand, most of the electronics hit the road between 10 and 20% off.  Don't expect to get a great bargain on a TV.  By 30% off, all that remained (and they still remained at 90%) were little attachment modules for some brand of electronic organizer that (apparently) nobody had.

(And, really, you oughtta see the stuff left at 90% off.  'Cause here we're talking about the clothes that really are so ugly, they can't even give 'em away.)

So, today...  I hit a clothing store going out of business at 40% off.  I bought some wrinkle-resistant shirts.  I love wrinkle-resistant (aka "no iron") shirts but they usually cost ... well, they usually cost way too damn much to pay for a shirt.  But at 40% off, they cost just about what a normal shirt oughtta cost, so I happily scooped some up.  (Indeed, I just checked their website and saw they've already sold out of several colors -- which just goes to show that this is the appropriate pouncing price for the shirts.)

But the suits?  Not yet.  40% off still isn't cheap enough to say "Hey, I'll buy that suit, even though I don't actually need another suit right now."  But I'll keep an eye on them.  Sooner or later, they'll hit that magic price, and I'll run down there with all the other vultures and help pick the shelves clean.

1 comment:

dklars said...

I love a store closing, too.  We recently had a huge craft store close down.  I was there every two weeks, picking through the shelves.  I love a bargain