Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Went to the Mall Rant

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.

Rant over.


Liz said...

I completely understand. One of the Dillard's here closed. Which leaves only 1 or 2 stores in our "little" mall that's just really old. But I agree. I don't have kids or anything like that (I'm also fairly young too) but I can't even afford to pay those prices for myself, let alone anyone else. Walmart, yard sales, and other various good deals are just fine by me.

Natalie said...

I have not stepped foot in a mall since Christmas and even then it was for a few specific items that I had good coupons for. We can't afford the outrageous prices that they charge. We make decent money but my husband and 4 year old son are very hard on their clothes. I would be in bankruptcy if I tried to keep them in clothes and shoes from the department stores. For work clothes and play clothes thrift stores work wonderfully and even for nicer clothes depending on what we find. It makes me mad everytime I think of the prices of things in stores these days.

Judith said...

I agree 100% those items where prob made by some poor prisoner in china with a gun to his/head and cost the company nothing to make. I have a 19 month old son and he is very big for his age already going into 3T clothes. He grows out of them fast I can not afford to buy clothes at those prices. I only buy if on clearance and I mean 50% off or more, yard sales and thrift shops. I even saved money with redecorating his room. I found 6 rolls of the cutest boarder for $.99 each and I already have the paint and I got that for next to nothing with signing up at Sherwin Williams paint club and I got a $10 gift card! I can't wait till my hubby is on vacation and my mother and law takes my little guy for a few days. He is going to come home to a new room.