The Children's Place: Where 3 for $20 Equals $20.97

After Mario bought some shirts at The Children’s Place shortly before Christmas, he discovered that the “sale” the store was running on the items he bought was a bad deal. Using an amazing trick of fuzzy math, the store actually increased the price of the items that Mario bought by putting them on sale. Wait, what?

Yesterday I went to a The Children’s Place store at a mall in [redacted] for buying some last minute gifts for the 4 kids of a friend.

I found some nice t-shirts that at 3 for $20 seemed conveniently priced for giving one to each of three kids. I also picked up another differently priced for the 4th kid.

Anyway, when they were checking them out at the register I noticed the 3 t-shirts of the promotion were marked at $6.99 each, totaling $20.97 and not $20.


I complained to the manager and the answer he gave me was that the new promotion allowed me to buy any number of t-shirts from that pile and each would be at $6.99, and that current promotion invalidated anything that was printed on the labels.


Only because I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to look for anything else in such crowded mall, I finally ended paying more for the same t-shirts, and despite it was only $0.97 more I felt I was scammed by The Children Place.

Not so much a scam: probably more of an issue with the point-of-sale system being unable to override the “sale” with the lower price. It’s still a big logic failure, and shows that the chain is a good place to buy clothes, but a terrible place to learn math.

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