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Monday, March 16, 2015

Fake Store Closeouts & How one 'Fish' Swallows Another..

Today's post to start the new week is about businesses and sales..

More specifically 'Going out of Business' closeout sales..

Obviously businesses closing up are bad things because people lose their jobs, the town or community no longer gets tax revenue, and often it takes a while if ever before a new business enters so the vacant store ultimately becomes an eye-sore..

But we hate it for another reason on top of above mentioned:

The closeout sales are most often always Bull-Dip!!...
In my nearby vicinity, the local Office Max decided to close its doors for good since it seemed it couldn't compete with the local Staples and within the last month had a long 'Going Out of Business' sale to unload its inventory..

So like all business closings, the sales started at a pathetic 10% off and eventually within a week it grew to a 10 to 20% off 'Everything must go!' sale..

To our surprise when visiting the store four weeks ago, there were some dingbats who thought buying merchandise at those non-special prices were good values..

Especially those buying ink..
So many people seemed to delude themselves into thinking 10% off printer ink was such an amazing value that the store never had to be motivated to raise its clearance above 15% off and the ink cartridges were gone the other two times we visited..

Of course if you go on, you can find most printer ink at around 20 to 25% off but Shhh.. don't tell the local 'clever' shoppers so proud of themselves to pay 90 cents on the dollar.

Suffice it to say, nothing was purchased by us at the time and we decided to check back a week or so later when the new 'clearance' was 'up to 40% off'

This is clever legal-speak for "pretty much everything is 10-20% off just like last week but we discounted a couple things here n' there at 40% like glitter pens to make the 'up to 40%' statement factually true"
People were still shopping and still buying..

And goodness how it was pissing us off!!

You see in order to get items in a store closeout that are a genuinely good price, you need other people out there to have the discipline to say 'I am not buying here until the minimum sale discount is 30% or 40%...'

This ideally puts pressure on the store to increase the sales quicker to expedite the products getting purchased.

Of course people never think beyond themselves at the greater good..  If someone thinks 5% off is a 'great deal' they'll gobble up the inventory
And of course most if not all store closing sales are not run by the store but by an outside company that marks up the inventory and Then starts selling at discounts to ensure maximum profit from an unsuspecting shopping public.

Sometimes its pretty obvious as it was with Office Max as everything had a yellow price sticker on it.

And sometimes a store will sell a particular item at a very low discount and then rather than raise the percentage, simply sell or return the product back to the company..

Levi's among others is famous for this..

The bastards will not allow anyone to sell their jeans for a percentage less than They say and so they will simply take back the merchandise rather than god-forbid let customers get their denim at 25% off or greater..

No wonder we've never bought Levi's..

So what you get in a store close-out are carefully controlled sales where anything you may actually Want to buy is either kept at super-low discount like 10% off, pulled off the shelves or dum-dums settle and buy up inventory..

Or the crap you really don't need and want is there sitting on shelves for weeks as finally they are 50% then 60% then 70% off..

Of course how many people are rushing to Office Depot to buy a protractor or colored chalk.
So we visited the store a last time three days ago as yesterday was the final day it would be opened.

The place was a shell of itself..

Seemed there were more people working and bang-banging away to remove shelving then those actually looking around to buy..

The sign said "Everything Must Go!  70-90% off!"  which sounded great until one realized it was really a  'All shit is 70% off except Christmas stationary which is 90% off'' close out

And of course there was nothing worth buying unless one really had to have orange or green printer paper or a tablet case.
And that was it..

The final moments in the death of a store that once had everything a person could need related to business and maintaining an office, albeit at higher prices than one could find at Wal-Mart or online..

Now it looked like riff-raff.

Could anything have saved the store from closing?  Its not like all Office Max stores were scuttled

Then again, when you have a company looking for every possible means to save a couple dimes, any store in any city can become immediately expendable
For instance, there was a time Office Max and Office Depot were separate businesses and competitors..  Now they are one company..

But it gets more interesting and incestuous than that..

Office Depot acquired Office Max last year and now guess who acquired 'Depot'?

Yep..  Staples.

Talk about eliminating competition..
~ The kitty is not really being eaten by the fish toy so don't feel sad..

Turns out instead of the local Office Max closing because it couldn't compete with the local Staples, really Staples couldn't compete with Office Max so they gutted the store.

What happens when one company creates a monopoly and the courts are too reluctant to follow & enforce anti-trust law?

You get King Staples.

Staples tried 20yrs ago to swallow up the competition and the courts blocked them..  Not so this time..

Its always a bad thing when a company goes under and especially dangerous when its a competitor who is responsible..
Just a few months prior, Bottom Dollar supermarkets which sold food at discount prices throughout the US Northeast was bought up by German owned Aldi which does the same thing..

All the stores were quickly closed up and the properties are still abandoned..

Competition -- Gone!  ~Wipes hands..

So what's the lessons to take boys n' girls?
1)  If you are a consumer, have no loyalty in any company because no company cares about you or your community.. Go wherever the best prices are or where you feel treated the best.    But keep loyalty for friends and family.

2)  If you are employee at a company, do not Ever emotionally bond to it in any way..  You can/will be fired at any time or an announcement that your place of work is closing/relocating and that's all there is to it..

3)  Close out sales pretty much are bullshit and rigged.   Unless your definition of a 'sale' or 'deal' is pretty low-bar, don't expect to get anything close to real value until prices are at least 30-40% off with no tricks.

In the ocean of life, you don't want to ever be the fish