The Vicious Sale Circle

December 12, 2016

Uri Minkoff (brother of Rebecca Minkoff and CEO of her namesake brand) compared discounting to a drug in this Wall Street Journal article about brands throttling discounts at department stores in the hopes of weaning shoppers off aggressive sales and regaining some control over pricing.

The article mentioned JCPenney's failed experiment, which I had nearly forgotten about until the anecdote jogged my memory: the year was 2012, and Ron Johnson (who had helped launch Apple's retail stores) had been hired as CEO of JCPenney in June of 2011 to steer its turnaround efforts. JCPenney's revenue, which never recovered from the economic meltdown, had been in decline, and the stock price was $35.43 on 01/01/12 (down from $82.16 on 01/01/07). In February of 2012, JCPenney replaced familiar coupons with "Every Day" prices, to disengage from the psychological warfare that is a sale cycle. The move was poorly received, and sales plunged along with the stock price. When Johnson was finally fired on April 8, 2013, the stock price was $15.87. But JCPenney's decline continued, even after it went back to a "promotional pricing model"; its stock price fell below $6.50 for a point in December of 2014, and finally broke $10 this year. 

(JCPenney's descent is an interesting one, excluded from the summary above is a story about how JCPenney's 4800 employees at its Plano, Texas headquarters watched five million videosthe report does not mention how many of these are cat videos—on YouTube in January 2012 alone, consuming some 30% of the network bandwidth. Its company culture may have required a shake-up, but I don't know that Apple's model was the right one to replace it.)

To veer back to the original story, Minkoff's comparison from earlier isn't inapt, and like all tapering process, it will take a herculean effort to reset a sale strategy. I am eager to see how this plays out. 
Forever 21 Chunky Knit Sweater Dress (past season) || BLANKNYC Morning Suede Moto Jacket in Olive Juice (Size XS) || Stuart Weitzman 5050 Over the Knee Leather Boots (reviewed here; also here and here) || Saint Laurent Small Sac De Jour Grained Leather Bag in Fog (also here)
In the meantime, let's take a minute to marvel at this leviathan of an exclusion list for Bloomingdale's mystery sale:

Take an extra 20%, 25%, 30% of 40% off almost all sale & clearance items with code. Offer valid online & in stores December 12-18, 2016. To receive your Deal Reveal savings in-store, see your Sales Associate for a Deal Reveal card. Discount may vary in store. Offer excludes: WOMEN: Agent Provocateur, Alice & Olivia, All Saints, Aqua Cashmere, Armani Black Label, Armani Collezioni, C by Bloomingdale's, Gerard Darel, Herve Leger, Hobbs, James Perse, Jigsaw, Karen Millen, Les Petites, Maje, Marina Rinaldi, Max Mara, Max Mara Studio, Maximilian Fur Services, Michael Kors, Oscar De La Renta (Leased), Phase Eight, Ralph Lauren Black Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Reiss, Sandro, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel (Leased), Sonia Rykiel (Leased), St. Emile, Strenesse, Ted Baker London, The Kooples, Versace, Weekend Max Mara, Whistles, Zadig and Voltaire. WOMENS SHOES: Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Salon Shoes (Salvatore Ferragamo,Chanel ,Burberry,Christian Dior,Alexander Wang, Fendi, Sergio Rossi, Chloe, Prada, Stella McCartney, Charlotte Olympia, Robert Clergerie, Giorgio Armani, Giuseppe Zanotti, Moschino, Furla, Belstaff, Rupert Sanderson, Jerome C Rousseau, Sarah Flint, Marni, Adidas x Raf, Arche, Carven, Christopher Kane, Missoni, Maxmara ,Marion Parke, Proenza Schouler, Miu Miu, NO21, Jimmy Choo). HANDBAGS: Chanel, Dior, Fendi Leased, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Longchamp, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Mon Purse, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo Leased, What Goes Around Comes Around. FINE JEWELRY: *All Fine Jewelry & Luxury Watches, Tourneau. ACCESSORIES: Links of London. FASHION WATCHES: Fashion Watches, MICHELE. WOMENS SUNGLASSES: Gucci. BEAUTY: All Cosmetics & Fragrances. MEN: All Saints, Armani Collezioni, Combatant Gentleman, Gucci Leased Shoes, Gucci Owned Shoes, Gucci Sun, Hamilton, Hugo Boss Shoes, James Perse, Jigsaw, Knot Standard, Louis Vuitton, Mens Tech/Electronics (Beats by Dr Dre, Bodimetrics, Fitbit, Jam, Mophie, Native Union, Protocol, Tumi, Master & Dynamic, Impossible Project, Wonderwoof, Tile, Sphero, Hubsan Drones, Utopia, Extreme Fliers, Lumee, Speck, Outdoor Tech, I.AM Plus, Marshall, Ilumi), Prada, Reiss, RM Williams, Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo Ties, Sandro, Suitsupply, Ted Baker Clothing, Accessories, and Select Ties, Ted Baker Formalwear, The Kooples, Thomas Pink, Tumi. KIDS: Mikihouse. HOME: Briggs & Riley, Cookware, Cutlery, Food, Candy, Trim, Furniture, Mattresses, Le Creuset, Papyrus, RADEN, Rimowa, Rugs, Small Electrics, Tumi, Villeroy & Boch. Offer excludes all Louis Vuitton, Cosmetics & Fragrances, Space NK. Offer not valid on pre-order merchandise. No adjustments to prior purchases. Offer valid for one time use. This offer may not be used in conjunction with a Charity, Credit Card Event, certificate or any other storewide extra savings offer. All employees of Bloomingdale's and its affiliates are excluded. Offer not valid in Bloomingdale's stores or bloomingdales.com/outlets. 

My picks for the sale: Tory Burch Micro Satchel, Lauren Ralph Lauren Medium Winston Raquel Messenger, Sam Edelman Pirro Booties, Splendid Hamptyn Suede Booties, Cole Haan Abbot Booties, Cashmere Solid Scarf, Tory Burch Thea Shoulder Bag, and Sam Edelman Kent Over The Knee High Heel Boots.

For those who need some unique codes to shop this sale, here are a few extra: 25% (X30879C262DE; XL03V9CO42UQ; XD0619CBA28I; X300T9C1W2OI) and 30% (X100P9C129FD). Please leave a comment below if you use a code. I will try to add new codes as they are received.

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You an also shop J.Crew's 24-hour sale: take an additional 50% off sale styles and 40% off "present-perfect picks" with code 24HOURS. My picks: Bracelet-sleeve Dress, Maddie Pant, Cable Scarf, Belted Zip Trench Coat, London Destination Art T-Shirt, and Cropped Double-breasted Peacoat.

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Another one-day only deal is H&M's Green Monday offer: take 30% off your sale item of choice with code 8996. This offer can be used online or in stores. I shared some picks in last week's sale update.

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Lastly, be sure to check out Forever 21's winter sale, now up to 70% off. 

Happy shopping!

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