Michaels Employee Clarifies Confusing Clearance Sign

Earlier this week, we showed you a picture of a clearance sign from a Michaels store that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. The yellow and black sign happily declared “CLEARANCE, 70% off,” but the fine print clarified that the clearance didn’t apply to clearance items. We get it if a “70% lowest ticketed price” clearance doesn’t apply to items on sale, but not to items that are on clearance in the first place. As it turns out, this sign seemed wacky because it is.

Tipster N. is a Michaels employee who stepped forward to defend truth, logic, and the craft mega-chain’s pricing policies. It turns out that reader Kim probably should have received 70% off the item, just because that’s how Michaels rolls.

Here’s that sign, to refresh your memory:

Clearance, but not clearance

I am a current Michaels employee, and I hope I can shed some light on this article. The “clearance event” that is taking place this week is a new thing that is being tried out this year at all stores. They are trying to clear out certain clearance inventory before the end of the fiscal year, while giving themselves a bit of an end of the year sales boost.

I believe that the note at the bottom is just a bit of a mistake, where someone at corporate didn’t think to edit the sign template for this new type of clearance event. (We typically do not have signs like these for clearance items, so I’m guessing they used the normal sale sign template, which includes the message about not applying to clearance items. Clearance items are typically tagged individually, or with a sticker/bin label.)

If the managers of this particular store handled the situation as described in the corporate sent e-mails, this customer would have been taken care of, and received an additional 70% off of the lowest marked price, regardless of any mistake on the side of the company. (so an additional 70% off of the 39.99) In this case though, I believe the item in question may be one of the items in the sale that do not scan correctly, in which case the cashier should have done a price override. Again, as instructed by corporate.

Of course, it is possible the item in question was not on clearance to begin with, was just a normal sale item, and was just misplaced by another customer.

Either way, our team was specifically told to settle all pricing disputes in the favor of the customer in terms of this event, and as far as I know, this was to be the policy across all Michaels stores.

Additionally, and I don’t know if this is true across all stores, 95% of the time, all pricing disputes, even outside of this clearance are settled in favor of the customer, even if the customer is blatantly and obviously wrong. (For instance one customer insisted a roll of ribbon be sold at 99 cents, even though every roll of ribbon had an individual price on the shelf, the customer insisted the 99 cents applied to every roll of ribbon, and not just the one the bin label was in front of.)

Thanks, N! That’s good to know. Remember that if you have info you’d like to pass on about the mysteries of your workplace or other consumer oddities, our mailbox is always open.