Everything’s on sale including luxury

April 7, 2009

 I recently saw a commercial that sent shock waves through my body: Macy’s was advertising their great prices! Excuse me?! Did I miss something? Now, don’t get me wrong: I love Macy’s. It’s actually my favorite store. I used to shop there extensively BR (before the recession). I loved their shoe selection (that’s a duh!), their lingerie and their petite collections. Macy’s loves and understands me, I would say to myself as I wondered the I.N.C. aisles. But, I never, ever, ever considered Macy’s a place where I went for good prices. Granted, they have sales ALL THE TIME, but the land of Dooney & Bourke, Calvin Klein and BCBGMaxAzria is no Walmart. Or at least, they weren’t last time I checked. I can’t say I’ve been in the shopping mood lately. And window shopping has never been my thing. I mean, what’s the point? When I visit the stores, it’s because I want to buy something — sometimes, everything, especially at Macy’s. I can’t imagine just looking and not taking anything home. Doesn’t that cause physical damage to, say, your left prefrontal cortex? I know I would be one angry little woman (I’m aware that there are other names out there for this condition, but I prefer to keep a clean blog), if all I could do is look and not buy. Talk about self-denial!

The fact that this mega mid- to high-end chain has to advertise low prices is truly a sign of the times. This crappy economy is not just affecting the little people (and I don’t necessarily mean petites here), but everyone in general. I guess Maddoff did more damage than I thought. He not only brought down some of the country’s wealthiest families, baseball and football team owners, even small countries, but he seems to have done a number on our retail establishment as well. I wonder, when all is said and done, what our shopping options will be. Maybe Nordstrom will partner with Target or Bloomingdales will buy TJ Maxx. These are fascinating times. Nothing, it seems, will ever be the same. And, yes, it is scary, but at least, it’s not boring. And maybe, just maybe, Dun & Bradstreet will have its own handbag collection. And their prices will fluctuate according to customer demand.



  1. Hi — I enjoyed your blog about the Macy’s prices and some of your other writing. I wonder if you’d like to be part of the Public Insight Network of Marketplace, the business show on public radio. About once a month, we would send you and others a few questions about the news and you respond with your insights and experiences. Here’s an example of one of the questions we’re asking now:
    We read all the responses and use them to suggest stories for our reporters. Some of the people who respond are interviewed by reporters, a few are re-worked as on-air commentaries read by the authors.
    Anyway, it would be great to have you as part of the network.

    Hang in there,

    Sharon McNary
    Analyst, Public Insight Network
    Marketplace | American Public Media

    • Hello Sharon, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. Your comment went to spam. I am very interested in your service and will sign up. Thank you for the invitation.

  2. Minneapolis Macy’s has continual coupons, sale days, one day specials. Result $245 sweater for $45, $200 snowsuit for $24, $50 silver bracelet for $12 plus coupons for $20 off a future purchase of $50. I have gotten a garment at Macy’s sale for <= to the TJ Maxx price of identical item.

  3. Hey you! That’s so cool that you got into the Washington Post! I love the blog 🙂 I added it to my list of blogs to follow. I hope you are doing well. Your sense of humor is great. Love it.

    • Thanks Kim. You know, a sense of humor is just one of those things no one can take away from you, not even in the darkest hours. And while it may not pay for new a lighbulb, it may help you see beyond the haze.

  4. This is one of those it’s-all-relative things. Macy’s does have great prices… IF you compare them to, say, Nordstrom’s or Bloomies or to boutique shops on Madison Ave or in Soho. So I guess if you shopped Bloomies when flush, you might trade down to Macy’s now. If you were already a Macy’s shopper, well, now you’ve got to go to T.J.’s or Daffy’s. Target shoppers are switching to Wal-Mart… and so on down the food chain of retail prices.

    • You’re absolutely right, Jenn. It seems like we all need to lower our standards for now. And who knows? Maybe in this wacked out economy, the retailers will find a new comfort zone for themselves.

  5. There is no Macy’s in my city, but there are other department stores.

    And yes, I have noticed that it is quite possible, if you watch the sales and pay attention to what is on the racks, to get something at the department store that costs much less money than it would at the discount store.

    An example: my husband and I went to a Christmas party where there was a gift exchange suggested value $15. He bought a music CD that was on sale for $10 at a discount store, I bought a pair of glass Christmas ornaments that were on a doorbuster sale at a department store for $5. Both gifts were well received.

    I learned that trick from my grandmother and aunt, who purchased my Pfaltzgraff dishes and Longchamp glassware at Elder-Beerman sales and then put the pieces away until my birthday or Christmas.

    • No kidding. Sometimes you find the most incredible items at the most incredible prices. And don’t you just walk around glowing when that happens? I know I do. It’s like you’ve made the single most wonderful discovery in retail history. I once bought a beautiful paisley duvet cover with shams that retailed for $250 at $15! I didn’t really need it at that moment, but I had to buy it! And of all the things I’ve gotte rid of in the last few years, you can bet that’s not one of them. I keep that baby to remind me of my shopping prowess. It’s a great self-esteem booster!

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