I generally don't like to complain, but yesterday I went to the mall. For my twenty minutes between work and first child pick-up, I thought I would stop by Dillard's (Cool Springs) and see if they had any dress shirts for my husband on sale. It's after the winter season and by now there should be a good discount. I've done this for many years and can usually find a decent sale. Of course I have not stepped into this store in over a year. I found the sale. At first glance it looked good - 70% off. Then I looked at the price tag. It was $26. That's 70% off? Two years ago, I would pay that for full price for the exact same shirt! And this was all over the men's section. I moved on to the home section.
Our coffee maker is on the blink. It still brews but does not keep the pot hot. I have found some great deals in the kitchen section of Dillard's in the past. Usually there is something there half price or they are selling the display model for next to nothing. Occasionally, I will pay full price if I really love it. The kitchen section was a ghost town. There were much fewer items for sale and they were super expensive. Even the 50% off tiny section was expensive. I moved on.
On my way out, I passed the lingerie section. Men, if you are squeamish about women's lingerie, stop reading here. I had just bought online some beautiful bras that were on clearance and I had a 50% of coupon code that brought them down to about $7 each. Being just curious to see what a department store was selling bras for, I glanced at the first tag I came to. $60. It had to be a mistake. I looked at another. $60. And then another. $80! These were nothing special. A piece of fabric, a piece of lace and a little metal. Really, how much can it cost to produce them? Who buys these things? Certainly no one there because it was empty.
I realize that there are people out there with no children and an abundant income that sees nothing wrong with buying articles of clothing at these prices. I am happy for them. However, they are in the minority. I consider my family as middle class with a good income. We live in a good neighborhood. My children go to a really nice public school for which we moved to the current county so that they might attend. We would have to take a loan out to purchase articles of clothing at what I consider a slightly above average department store. There is an incredible disconnect between manufacturers/department stores and the general public. It is no wonder that Walmart and Family Dollar are seeing a huge surge in customers. It seems to me that the department stores are raising their prices with the belief that people's income is still rising. This is just not happening. Dillard's, if you want to stay in business and actually have shoppers in your store, lower your prices to be reasonable. And for goodness sake, have a real sale.