It’s (Sort Of) On Sale

September 5, 2016


It’s on sale….maybe…

I noticed this sign at a retailer over the weekend and shook my head.  At first glance, it sounded like everything was on sale for 40% off.  When you re-read the sign, you realize that it stated “almost everything”, which means that most items, but not all, will be on sale.  Ok no biggie right?  I’ll just look for the sale items, which should be the majority of those pieces in the store.


Ah yes, the proverbial “but.”  When you read the fine print, those items excluded from the sale include: regularly priced jeans, shoes, and select styles.

Still doesn’t sound too bad right?

Except what I haven’t told you yet, is that this sign was for the Lucky Brand store.  And Lucky Brand is a retailer whose primary product, is jeans.  Jeans, which are part of the excluded items from the promotion.  I would venture to say that at least 50% of a Lucky Brand store (maybe more) is stocked with jeans.  This means that at least 50% of the store was NOT on sale for 40% off.

And then there’s the mystery “select styles” exclusion.  What does that even mean?  What items are those?  A quick question with a sales associate resulted in a guided tour of those pieces that were, and were not, part of the current promotion.

This post makes it sound like I am not a fan of the Lucky Brand, and the exact opposite is true, they are actually my favorite non-premium denim brand.  I own their jeans in both my spring/summer and fall/winter capsule wardrobes, and I also use Lucky Brand denim for my gear needs (they wash and wear like iron, perfect for horseback riding.)  But I picked apart their latest promotion to point out the fact that sometimes, a shopper has to be very careful when looking at sale signs.  As they saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Do you ever see sales with lots of exclusions?


  1. Reading your account really makes me burn! The retailer isn’t merely being deceptive… this ‘sale’ about as big a lie as you can market without being sued. This sale isn’t “almost everything”. It’s “almost nothing”.

    What percentage of the merchandise would you guess was actually on sale for 40% off?

    I don’t think I have seen a sale with this many exclusions, in a store the size of Lucky. Department stores, yes.. but there is usually a good selection of sale items, so you don’t really feel like your options are limited if you’re trying to shop on a smaller budget.

    1. I think these type of sales will become more common as retailers continue to struggle. Sales have always frustrated me, and now, they frustrate me even more than ever before. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

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