Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Discounting Ourselves Out Of Existence

Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor.com have a sale through the holiday weekend with some merchandise off up to 70% and an additional 20% your total purchase. Also, you get free shipping on any online order over $150.

Just about anything you order from Ann Taylor is going to run you over $150.  

I know everybody likes a sale. But I’d like to know how these places are going to stay in business giving away the store—as it were—with sale after sale.

We’re going to end up discounting ourselves all out of work.

At some point—a point I’d say we’ve already reached in many respects—we’re going to make it very difficult for employees in these stores to get raises and benefits. We also make it impossible for the people who make and manufacture what we buy to be paid a fair wage.   

Wal-Mart is the downmarket example often used. But these things are also true where things cost more.  

Retail was hard enough before the internet. Now people have an expectation of discounts each time they shop.

I don’t see how this can be a successful business model. It’s good when you are getting the discount. It’s not so good when where you like to shop goes under and people are unemployed.  

Here is an analysis of the current troubles at Ann Taylor.

The dress in the picture above was not purchased at Ann Taylor. I think that dress might only sell on a very deep discount.


July 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,


  1. Actually, most clothing is marked up so much that a retail outlet can discount it 97% and still make money. The “Tile Print Knit Dress,” which costs almost $140, was most likely bought from its Asian manufacturer for less than $20.

    So if the dress is discounted 50%, the company still makes $50. Problem is, it takes a LOT of $50 sales to pay store rental rates and employee pay, not to mention the cost of importing the merchandise.

    I wish I could shop Ann Taylor, but alas, at 5’9″, their clothes are not made for me.

    Comment by Judith | July 6, 2008

  2. Right—They can’t get to the point where the people make and sell the clothes earn enough money. I know they are getting the stuff cheap from Asia, but the pricing requred to sell the stuff is not enough in the long run. And based on Ann Taylor’s sales of late, it seems the company itself has problems.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | July 6, 2008

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