What Do You Want Out Of A Sale?


We are in the midst of sale season. Black Friday is arriving into view (speaking of which, please stay tuned for our special sale edit next week), but a different one that’s already underway is on top of mind.

Well, top of mind on Twitter anyway.

Over there, Barneys’ going out of business sale has become a running joke: the sadness over the iconic New York retailer’s shuttering turned into excitement over the prospect of great deals during an inevitable liquidation sale, which turned into pure rage when that sale turned out to be nothing but paltry five to 10-percent markdowns. A sampling:

Poor Barneys isn’t alone, though. Ulta was met with similar sale-rage when its weekend-long in-store-only “Ulta Beauty Fest” failed to live up to the hype. The store, known for its sweeping sales including its famed “21 days of beauty” sales event, disappointed customers with “Beauty Fest,” which only offered early store openings in select locations, some limited-time offers after reaching a significant purchase-threshold, and a few $5 coupons. On Twitter, it was likened to Fyre Festival. The comments on the Instagram post announcing the sale were scoldy, often in all-caps, laden with exclamation points and capital D disappointment.

We can all agree there’s a difference between Barneys sending out all-caps email blasts touting “STORE CLOSING SALE THE ENTIRE STORE IS DISCOUNTED” and delivering weak markdowns and Ulta’s, well, whatever it was, but in our Slack it incited a debate: are shoppers behaving a bit entitled about sales? Or do brands have an obligation to deliver on big sales to make shopping with them worth your time? We're curious! Unload your thoughts below.

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