Tuesday, January 4

Retail Ramble: Will we ever buy full price again??

When is the last time you paid full price for a clothing item you were purchasing?  If you are like me, the answer is probably rarely or not lately. 

This recession/depression our economy is in has really spoiled those of us to love to shop.  If you think about your favorite big retailers, every single one of them ran a promo during the Holiday season.  Gap/Banana/Old Navy had a different promo everyday, JCrew had 30% off sale/25% off site promos; Bloomingdales, Macys, Lord and Taylor, and Saks all had promos; and even Anthropologie, who notoriously never discount anything until sale, offered an extra 25% off their sale selection.

Additionally, websites like and even a basic web search allow me to check on the pricing of an item before purchasing it.  Online discount websites like ebates,, etc also keep a running tab on the online offerings available out there and in the case of ebates even offer an additional percentage off.

I'm not currently shopping for clothing and won't be for quite sometime, but when thinking back over my past few purchases, I can not think of a single item that I purchased at full price.  There is the occasional item that I would purchase from JCrew at full price for fear it would sell out.  I would keep said item in my closet with the tags on and either wait for it to go on sale to get an adjustment or if the return policy window was looming and I decided I could live without I would return it.  But, now that so many retailers, especially Ann Taylor and LOFT, have promos every week where you can use multiple coupons on items, I have found it harder and harder to justify purchasing a full price item.  

There are certain items that historically I would pay full price for, ie anything I see as an investment piece, examples a timeless trench coat, an amazing designer bag, even the perfect pair of go-with-everything boots.  But in this economy even these items are becoming harder and harder to justify, because if you can force yourself to wait you know that Saks is going to have a Friends and Family sale; or if your lucky, you might find said item massively discounted at Neiman Marcus Last Call.  

I think the questions remains that once this economy recovers, how are retailers going to convince their loyal customers that they need to pay full price for their items again?  I know that other bloggers/friends are asking these same questions, I see the conversations all of the time on other blogs and on Twitter, even on Facebook.  What are your thoughts, Will you ever pay full price again?


1 comment:

  1. I think retailers will up their prices to account for the inevitable coupons (or sales) they're now forced to dole out. Talbot's is a good example of this.


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