In Sale Flyer, ‘Only At Macy’s’ Means ‘Not Necessarily At Macy’s’

Image courtesy of (JeepersMedia)

One Boston shopper found what looked like an amazing deal on shirts at Macy’s, advertised in the weekly flyer. Unfortunately, Macy’s now seems to regard their flyer as a random assortment of product pictures and disclaimers. The item wasn’t available at his local Macy’s, and employees just sort of shrugged.

The items in question were shirts from the men’s sportswear department on clearance. Now, if you saw this flyer, would you assume that it was advertising an actual sale?


The nature of putting things on clearance means that they may have sold out, and that’s just how the world works. However, here, the employees hadn’t heard of the markdown at all. Dworsky interpreted an item in the flyer advertising men’s sportswear shirts for $5.99 to mean that there were men’s sportswear shirts for $5.99 that existed at some point.

Yet there it was in the Macy’s circular fine print: items shown in the flyer may not be available at your local Macy’s. It was a national flyer, store employees explained:

As this is remaining clearance inventory – which varies by store based on sales in each location – we include the notation that the pictured items may not be available at your local Macy’s.

Savvy consumers may have already cleaned out the clearance department in the men’s department, which would mean there were no items left to mark down to $5.99 for the promotion. Why use a sale that a given store may have never had in the first place to entice customers?

The Macy’s Columbus Day Sale that Wasn’t [MousePrint]

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