I don’t like to shop for clothes– at the mall– in the department stores. However, last week it seemed like a good idea. So…
I went to the mall to look for some spring clothes for me. I parked in the only place I could find– a parking garage about halfway between two department store anchors on either end of the mall. Then I walked to the end of the mall to shop in the big bad department.
Once inside I went to the exact spot in the exact department where I had seen, in January, what I wanted to buy. But my item was not there. In fact, the whole large area formerly devoted to this particular brand was gone. So I went in search of a sales associate. Eventually I found a woman and asked her where the brand I wanted was hiding. I know department stores. They hide things.
She told me that they no longer carried that brand. So I asked: “why?” And this is what she told me.
The brand that I was interested in buying is also sold on a tv shopping network. Dishonest shoppers, who had purchased discounted items on the tv shopping network, were returning these discounted items to the big bad department store– where the big bad department store was giving them a full price refund— which was costing the big bad department store money.
[I have no idea why the big bad department store didn’t pull a Nancy Reagan and “Just Say NO” to the scam artists. That’s what I’d do if I was in charge. But, of course, I am rational and ethical– which in my experience is the antithesis of how department stores work.]
Instead, the big bad department store did the only thing it could think of to solve this problem; it stopped carrying the brand altogether. The brand that I had finally decided to buy. The brand that this annoying store has promoted ad nauseum for years. That brand. *sigh*
So I thanked the sales associate for letting me know what was going on and left the big bad department store empty-handed. Again.
As I was walking back to my car, I started thinking about what had just happened. I had made the effort to buy something, but was defeated by the very store that had convinced me that I needed this item. That was annoying.
I’d been told a story that made the big bad department store look like a victim– which, I guess, the sales associate thought would make me sympathetic to the plight of the store. That was weird.
But most importantly, I’d had the belated realization that I should never, ever listen to what the big bad department store says. Everything about the place is hinky. And this insight, gentle readers, was worth the trip to the mall. I have learned. I am better for it.
And you know what? I’m not going back there again.
[Hello FTC! I cannot lie. I didn’t put this disclaimer on this post when I first published it because I didn’t use any names of the companies that I’m writing about here. But now I can see that in the comments below I will be revealing the identity of the big bad department store. So just to be safe, here is what you like to see: I have received no money or other compensation for the opinions stated in this post or in the comments below.]