‘were practically bribing our customers’

As I mentioned in my initial post, I work at Express. My store is a brand new location that opened just before thanksgiving. The store is enormous, with large mens and womens sections. For the last few weeks, Express has  had their annual ‘shop the bins’ sale – the madness that ensues when obnoxious ladies come in to the store to dig through bin upon bin of marked down clearance items that should be organized by size, but by the end of the day theres absolutely no way you can even make out where one bin begins and the other ends. As you can imagine, it’s obnoxious to shop but even more obnoxious to work.

This sale is nothing new, and I’ve seen from working at the store for just a few months that Express is known for their great coupons and their incredible sales. Items that were once $80 get marked down to just $20 or $30 – it makes you wonder why people even bother to pay full price. Well wait. With this economy? They dont.

As my manager put it the other night as we were closing the store – our company is practically bribing customers to come in and shop. The latest twist on the bin sale? Every red-line item is marked down an additional 40% when you get to the register. I bought a gorgeous red satin cinched tube dress that was originally $98 for $17.99 yesterday [and that is without my employee discount, which we sadly don’t get on sale items].

red dress

Because of the drastically lowered prices, the sales plans that my managers set out at the start of the week are being missed by thousands of dollars per segment, our numbers are much much lower than then ever were. For a new store, that isn’t so great. 

The state of the economy is effecting more than just Express. I have never seen such huge sales in my entire life – it really does seem like the stores are begging shoppers to come through their doors. Everywhere you look, signs are offering 40, 50, even 60% off of once full priced merchandise. The Buy One Get One sales are everywhere. When I worked at American Eagle we were giving BOGO 1/2 off on every single item in the store. Even 344 [the latest jasmine sola store that sells a variety of designer jeans and tops] is offering 30% off of true religion, citizens of humanity and joes jeans [& I am not ashamed to admit that I already went in to find my size and was out of luck, of course]. It’s true insanity. Or, as my friend put it, a girls shopping heaven. The reality is, how much are teenagers and young adults affected by the economy? I hear my parents yell at me over the phone every other day about how I need to stop my spending because times are tough, but I am still working and getting a regular pay check. And when clothes are half as much as they normally are, why wouldn’t I take advantage? A friend was telling me that one of her friends is normally stingy with spending money, that she hates going shopping and buying clothing. But they went to their mall over break and her friend splurged because of all the sales. So does that mean that young adults are ignorant to the downfall of the economy? Are we just unaffected? Do we not care? Or are the sale ploys just really working on us?

Well clearly, I bought my dress. Granted I had an occasion and I already have the heels and jewelry to go with, but still. I have a perfectly good tube-top dress from Zara sitting in my closet that I could have simply reworn. Maybe I just have a shopping problem, maybe the temptation of working in retail is part of that problem, but something tells me I’m not so far off from the average young woman’s shopping pattern.

xoxo; rachel sarah

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January 18, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized.

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