I live in a two car family. My car uses 93 octane. My husband drives an extended cab pickup which drinks gasoline like a rockstar on a binge night. Has the price of gas affected us? Uhh…yeah. Yes it has.
Across the country, people are shopping more wisely…plain and simple. Retailers are absolutely feeling it and they are aggressively cranking out new strategies to boost their sales, yet, as an industry, they’re trying to be very covert about it. In back rooms and board rooms, corporate strategists and executives are acknowledging that prices to need to drop on consumer products before people will pull their wallets out, but at the same time, they’re not really promoting some of these deep price cuts since they don’t really want to cause any alarm about the current economy. So for many companies, the corporate line is that everything is just fine, while the reality is that unprecedented price cuts are in full effect to make sure that we keep buying. In my mind, we’re savvy people who understand the economy, so let’s just be open about the reality.A lot of major retailers are feeling the pinch and are closing some of their brick and mortar locations or are just abandoning any plans for expansion that were on the table. Ann Taylor is closing 117 stores, Gap is closing 85, Footlocker is closing 140 stores, and the list goes on. It IS disconcerting to see these closures, but at the same time, this is a cyclical occurrence that happens in any industry. It’s all about merchants reinventing themselves to match the new climate, if they need to. Businesses that are more centered around online shopping rather than on brick and mortar store sales will have less adapting to do.
With the cost of gas where it is, plenty of us have realized that we can save a nice chunk of money by doing more of our shopping online. By skipping a trip to the mall,you’re saving yourself not only the cost of gas, but also the cost of a Cinnabon and strawberry smoothie. That’s like 10 bucks right there. But to me, online shopping isn’t even about that. It’s about having the ability to compare prices in real time. It’s about knowing that Macy’s really does have the lowest price on that pair of jeans that want without having to walk or drive all over your tri-county area to verify that. Gas is money, time is money, and paying too much is the absolute worst kind of money.
The current economy has prompted retailers into starting their giant summer sales much earlier than they have in the past. You’ve probably noticed summer sale after summer sale for the last couple of weeks, while we usually don’t see this happen until later in July or early August.
A prime example: Old Navy has a great deal that runs through the end of today where we can save an additional 20% off clearance items with promo code EXTRA20. There’s a ton of jewelry, shoes and lingerie on sale in addition to the old navy staples like tanks and shorts. Sizes are limited so go take a look around.
Macy’s also has a great array of summer apparel on sale like the Alfani Pleated Cap-Sleeve Top which I’m wearing today. It’s made of fantastically slinky and comfortable fabric which is machine washable. This top comes in Purple or pistachio green in Sizes S-XL. It retails at $49 but is on sale for $36.75.
Also, the T Tahari Ruffled Sleeveless Empire-Waist Dress at Macy’s is a wonderful find for about half off at $49. The red is sold out, but you can still grab this dress in black in sizes S and M.
So, What have we learned today? Retailers are taking a big hit right now to keep us shopping. Sales are more generous than we’ve seen in a long time, and for those of us who are shopping online anyway, we can enjoy the sweet savings while shopping from home and keeping our extended cab pickups in the garage.