We're living in a SALES BLOAT era
“‘I bought your shirt for however much, and a couple months later I see that people can buy it for 60% off?’ Why would I believe your pricing?”
Me always. Really frustrating to see brands do this and to evolve into this.
From the retailers perspective - I would rather not ever have sales other than "last one" or "this is very old" clearances. We get bullied into the discount cycle by other shops who share brands with us, which at the end of the day, creates an toxic ecosystem.
Do I want to discount OrSlow - no. Absolutely not. Do I need to keep up with those other guys who do? Yes.
I would rather sell half as much at full price than deal with the headache of keeping up with discount and promo cycle forced on us by other shops.
At the brand level, what I see is this donut hole between very small output brands can control pricing because they sell every single piece instantly; and very well capitalized brands can afford to demand a no-discount policy and sit on their unsold product.
Underlying all of this nonsense, however, is landlords (especially in the USA). Pushing up the price of having a workshop, of having a place to sell your goods, and having a home drives up the need to chase revenue rather than build value over time through a carefully maintained pricepoint.
Based on the feedback from my staff, most of the (large) raises I've given them have vaporized into rent rather than improving their lives. I hear the same thing from USA-based brands, rent eats it all.
Once upon a time I lived in place where sales only happened 2x per year (by law). It was fun. You planned around it. Not sure if it is still like that or not.
Just sent an email to the guys from the great BIG newsletter that deals with the day to day monopoly bulls**t that's dominant everywhere, clothes not excepted. Maybe they'll take up the topic? Anyway, I was bombarded in recent weeks with ads from temu for buying sweaters for five bucks and the like. Really frustrating. I either buy something I really want for the appropriate price, or I find sth 2nd-hand that strikes me at the moment. A cheap price per se is not a sales argument for me. Don't have space & time & money for this.
Wow, so well written and left me feeling very encouraged and united to other small brand designers who feel bulldozed by sale culture <3
That unfulfilled/disenchanted feeling really resonates with me. In fact, I often feel a little icky, like part of my soul is withering, when going into large chain retail environments. I shake my head in disbelief thinking back to my tweenage self spending entire weekends in my small hometown's mall!
1000% yes yes yes! i think most bbsp readers would agree that 2nd hand is absolutely the way to go rather than hunting for sales. at this point, unless i’m buying into a very small brand, i feel pretty guilty/unsatisfied buying anything new anyway.
great, like all spyplane explorations.
the concept of jawnflation resonates with me as similar to another deeply cursed phenomenon in the world of the criminal legal system, where sentencing ranges and maximum sentences balloon not for reasons of 'fairness' or 'moral calibration' but so that they can be used as more effective leverage for prosecutors to force people into plea bargaining for a 'more manageable' sentence and forgoing their right to trial. it's a one-way lever that makes criminal penalties higher and higher all in the name of a truly demonic and punitive 'efficiency,' and it puts people who choose to opt out and exercise their right to trial in a position where they're basically risking their lives if they choose to assert their innocence. obviously these things differ in meaningful ways, but it feels like we're seeing this spiritual inflation everywhere - the world as we knew it becomes more 'expensive' because the powers that be know that it's a way to coerce many into some wack efficiency mindset, and those who try to opt out and live the old/blessed way are left in more daunting spot than ever.