Marketing has changed much during the brief span of my life. In earlier days, clothing was stocked by most ‘General Stores’ in a variety of sizes including half sizes in order to better fit the majority of their clientele. In today’s age of discount everything; it is rare indeed to find an item in our particular size.
I once posed the question of why to a store manager, when I had searched in vain for a pair of 42-inch trousers among scores of 28 inch through 34-inch pairs. “It’s a matter of economics,” the manager said. “By making more of the smaller sizes, they are able to produce more pairs from the same amount of material; therefore, the profit margin is higher.”
“But what about us big bellied people?” I asked. “Recent studies have born out the fact that there are more slim people than there are large people.” “We simply order a certain item, and the factory sends the sizes according to the studies,” the manager replied.
What happened to the Store owner who knew his clientele well enough to be able to order sizes to fit every customer. He also knew most of the preferred styles and colors. Although he usually knew what size shoes you wore, he nevertheless would take great pains to measure your feet to assure that the fit was perfect. This sometimes caused indignation when he informed:; “Mrs. Hoy- Paloy”, that she wore a size 9 instead of the requested size 5.
In many discount shoe stores today, it is next to impossible to find the exact size of the shoe that you like. Instead you are encouraged to purchase a larger size because your particular size has been discontinued.
Once, while browsing in a shoe store among thousands of pairs of the latest fashionable shoes, I began searching for the metal measuring device that earlier stores had at least one or two and I could not find even one throughout the store. I inquired about this from a clerk and was told, “That’s what the benches are for.” “Try them on and determine if they feel good.”
Somehow, I cannot rationalize that these sales techniques are better than to have your measurements taken and then being asked the one question; “black or brown?” In fact, I have never heard one of today’s clerks reply, when you asked for black. “NO, Demijon; brown will GO better with that new suit you ordered from Montgomery-Ward and with that pair of socks you got for Christmas.”
Recently, I noticed an abandoned store building being renovated. Several weeks later, I saw a sign in a front window that announced ‘SHOES – $20.00.’ Being a glutton for a bargain, I investigated and found that they indeed were offering thousands of pairs of shoes for only $20.00 each.
Diligently searching, I discovered a pair that was identical to the ones I was wearing, for which I had paid $85.00 and change. Needless to say, I was somewhat disturbed.
Now I really don’t like to pass up such a bargain, but I did not need another pair at this time. However, rationality raised its ugly head and I began searching for a second pair in size 11-W. 30 minutes later, I found this same style shoe sitting on a box underneath a table. I grabbed the box and retreated to a bench at the back of the shop, to try them on. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found that the other shoe was a size 7.
Angry and sweating, I approached the manager to ask where the correct shoe was and was told, “We just take what they send us.” My next question was; If I had purchased this box without examining the contents, would you refund my money?”
He pointed to a sign above the register that read, NO EXCHANGES – NO RETURNS!
So much for bargains. If it appears ‘TOO-GOOD’?, “Dig a little deeper.” (An old Sellers Saying of mine.) Dj.
I can also remember when ‘Bread,’ was an important part of the human diet and was far removed from the medium of exchange stored in banks. Demijon.