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Century 21 is Dead to Me

Off-price clothing retailer Century 21 — whose massive stores have been a mecca for generations of fashion-minded bargain hunters — filed for bankruptcy on Thursday and said it will shut down all of its stores for good, blaming insurance companies that failed to pay up during the pandemic.

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by Anonymousreply 1069 hours ago

shucks. I used to work on wall street and would run up there on break if I was missing a tie or something

by Anonymousreply 109/10/2020

That's sad news - that place was an institution

by Anonymousreply 209/10/2020

What about the Sonja Morgan line?

by Anonymousreply 309/10/2020

This is a shame. Whenever I brought anyone to see the WTC Memorial, we always stopped at Century 21. It was teaming with a bunch of great stuff at good prices. My tourist friends always left with loaded shopping bags.

by Anonymousreply 409/10/2020

Oh no. My go to place and then it died. RIP

by Anonymousreply 509/10/2020

Guess I’m the only one who didn’t love that place. I used to work on Liberty St and stopped going there because I never found anything. I loved Daffy’s though.

by Anonymousreply 609/10/2020

I'm going to miss their gold blazers.

by Anonymousreply 709/10/2020

Its days were numbered when Loehmann’s died a few years ago. Designer bargains from past season or overstocks just aren’t what they used to be. The quality in designer clothing has gone downhill where even at bargain prices you’re still paying too much.

by Anonymousreply 809/10/2020

Where will we go to get our gold realtor's blazers now?

by Anonymousreply 909/10/2020

So much for Sonja Morgan's "fashion line" having a "retail location"!

by Anonymousreply 1009/10/2020

Thought this was about the real-estate agency.

by Anonymousreply 1109/10/2020

I hate to see this go. I like this store.

by Anonymousreply 1209/10/2020

My first thought was for Sonja too. Just when she caught a break...

by Anonymousreply 1309/10/2020

Sonya can always sell her clothes in Stein Mart. Wait....they’re closing too.

by Anonymousreply 1409/10/2020

Well, they would've had to change their name in 80 years anyway.

by Anonymousreply 1509/10/2020

This must be the saddest, shittiest year of my life!!!!!!!

Everything and everyone I love keep passing away!!!!!!!!!! Oh, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! And Trump is still here!!! Shit shit shit shit!!!!

by Anonymousreply 1609/10/2020

[Quote] Well, they would've had to change their name in 80 years anyway.

The store soured in the 21st century. It was super great in the 1990s. Not so cool after 9/11.

by Anonymousreply 1709/10/2020

[quote] Thought this was about the real-estate agency.

Moi aussi.

by Anonymousreply 1809/10/2020

NOOOOOO! I love the Century 21 store by Wall Street!

by Anonymousreply 1909/10/2020

No loss. The place was run like the department store I used to go to with my mother in the 1960s minus the notions dept. All returns to customer service on the top floor, alterations cost extra, one fitting room on the other side of the floor, closed every Jewish holiday. And the exact same thing at TJ Maxx cost more at C21. It was a magnet for Euro tourists though, so I suppose they might be disappointed.

by Anonymousreply 2009/10/2020

[quote] Guess I’m the only one who didn’t love that place. I used to work on Liberty St and stopped going there because I never found anything. I loved Daffy’s though.

Nope, I hated it too.

Aside from buying winter gloves (I lose 2-3 pairs a year) I never had the energy to deal with the clutter and the crowds. Hoards of tourists with armloads of stuff clogging the narrow aisles made it an unpleasant experience.

I live on the West Side and they took over the former Barns & Noble across from Lincoln Center, which was a blow to the neighborhood, if a boon to my bank account. That C21 was awful, poorly laid out and no home furnishings. Aside from the fact that it'll leave a vacant storefront on a very prominent corner, I won't miss that store at all. A good supermarket would be nice to have instead. I fear it will remain empty for years, as will the one downtown.

I too loved Daffy's. The communal fitting rooms were a voyeur's dream

by Anonymousreply 2109/10/2020

I forgot about Daffy's!

by Anonymousreply 2209/10/2020

R22, how COULD you? I bought so many things there that I still wear. I'll miss that store till the day I die. I used to work right near the flagship store on 5th Av & 18th St, where all the couture one-offs would go. It was fascinating just to browse, and exhilirating to buy. "Clothing bargains for millionaires," indeed.

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by Anonymousreply 2309/10/2020

I miss Daffys too! And 20 th century Century21 before tourists heard about it.

by Anonymousreply 2409/10/2020

Who's going to sell my line now?

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by Anonymousreply 2509/10/2020

It went seriously downhill a decade ago when it tried to emulate other department stores. What was great about it early on were the huge bargains and things you would find literally off the runway that only happened because the store was in NY. Once it tried to go the Macy’s route, it was over.

by Anonymousreply 2609/10/2020

I'm so bummed about this, I love C21. We have one ten minutes away in Morristown, NJ too.

by Anonymousreply 2709/10/2020

[Quote] insurance companies that failed to pay up during the pandemic.

What's that again?

by Anonymousreply 2809/10/2020

But how's Lane Bryant doing? That's what we really wanna know.

by Anonymousreply 2909/10/2020

The store across from Lincoln Center was a mess. It was like the store where they sent all the clothes that didn't sell in the other locations. That was such a great area in the 90s. Barnes & Noble, Tower Records across the street. I blew too much money in that area.

by Anonymousreply 3009/10/2020

I feel sad about this. I used to shop at this place when I was on Jury duty. I used to buy my underwear and socks there. But it is true that the quality of the stuff deteriorated over the years. The past few years, I'd wonder around the place and walk away with nothing.

What are the tourists going to do downtown without this place?

by Anonymousreply 3109/10/2020

Their caftan selection was pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 3209/10/2020

Poor Sonja just when things were starting to look up

by Anonymousreply 3309/10/2020

You used to find Prada, Zegna and Bottega pieces for cheap. Then they buried the high-end stuff in the back of the store and started trying to attract all the Midwest & foreign Twin Towers gaping hole(s) onlookers with Penguin and Tommy Hilfiger.

by Anonymousreply 3409/10/2020

I used to go there semi-regularly when I worked on Wall Street. I haven't been there recttnly though. Too bad, another one bites the dust.

by Anonymousreply 3509/10/2020

We'll take Sonja's collection.

by Anonymousreply 3609/10/2020

Daffys didn’t have a communal fitting room. They had tiny stalls with insufficient curtains.... But I think C21 did! IIRC

I’m a woman and even I was disgusted by the sweaty flesh and nervous odors of THAT experience.

by Anonymousreply 3709/10/2020

I used to live in that place in the 90's and early 2000's. But within the last 10-15 years, the "bargains" weren't really bargains and online shopping began to eclipse it. However it was great for finding innovative European designers that you couldn't find anywhere else.

by Anonymousreply 3809/10/2020

Hm, I recall the Daffy's on 34th Street definitely having a communal dressing room and it being like the cruisiest spot in NYC for a while there. Guys would get completely naked just to try on a sweater.

by Anonymousreply 3909/10/2020

Was the only reason Covid or was it doing badly even before the economy tanked?

by Anonymousreply 4009/10/2020

[quote] Daffys didn’t have a communal fitting room. They had tiny stalls with insufficient curtains.... But I think C21 did!

R39 is right, the Daffy's on 34th had a communal fitting room for men. Back in the 1990s I don't think C21 had men's fitting rooms, other than in the suit department. I had a friend come stay with me and he'd come back from the store with bags of clothing. He'd try things on, keep what he wanted, and return the unwanted items the next day (invariably picking up more to try on). This went on for a week.

by Anonymousreply 4109/10/2020

Yes, Daffy's on 34th had a communal men's fitting room. I was always amazed at the European men who would pull off their pants and have no underwear on underneath. It was sexy and disgusting at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 4209/10/2020

A communal fitting room? What the fuck is that?

by Anonymousreply 4309/10/2020

[quote]A communal fitting room? What the fuck is that?

Like a dance studio. One big room with mirrors all the way around the room.

by Anonymousreply 4409/10/2020

Always hated Century 21. The sales floors always felt like Roller Derby and the bargains were not that great. Socks, underwear and ties. Otherwise, the store was a nightmare.

by Anonymousreply 4509/10/2020

Extra fat hoes wouldn't like C21 since the store doesn't cater to beached whales, they should all head to DXL Big + Tall!!!

by Anonymousreply 4609/10/2020

Agree with all my fellow NYers-- Daffys was great, easy to find things there, C21 on the UWS, which took over the B&N store I spent many of my teenage years in was sad and out of character for the neighborhood. Hopefully a more appropriate business will fill that space--it's a great location

by Anonymousreply 4709/10/2020

R47, always felt that Century21 was out of place on the UWS. Plus that store is so weirdly shaped that it just doesn’t fit.

by Anonymousreply 4809/11/2020

I liked Daffy's so much better too. I never wore Gautier or any of that shit so Century 21 never meant anything to me. And to have to go all the way downtown.....

by Anonymousreply 4909/11/2020

R30, you sure got that right. The corner of 67th and Broadway in the 90's was probably my favorite little corner of the world in the late 80's & 90's. I still have actual dreams about bring in the Tower Records there--pathetic, I know. And the B&N was the biggest and best in the city, hosting a whole lot of big names on a weekly basis.

And R16... You have given perfect voice to what I feel day after day.

by Anonymousreply 5009/11/2020

(being, of course....too emotional, typos abound.)

by Anonymousreply 5109/11/2020

I used to go to the Daffy's on Madison & 44th. That location closed at least 10 years ago and that store is still vacant.

by Anonymousreply 5209/11/2020

Sometimes I wish the ACTUAL Century 21 (i.e., the 21st century) were dead to me. It started out horribly w/ Bush v. Gore, 9/11 ... and now we're in a global pandemic, we have certifiable lunatic as president, and the country is on fire. Can we just skip ahead to 1/1/2100? Or maybe just reboot?

by Anonymousreply 5309/11/2020

Back in day Century 21 was a great resource for high end goods of all sorts, and other nice things as well. Then it was "discovered" and descended upon by hoards of tourists and people coming into lower Manhattan from elsewhere. Like Loehmann's "Back Room" things just got too out of hand; there are only so much designer surplus goods to go around. What once was easy became something of a slog to find decent bargains.

Century 21 also did itself no favors when it expanded, further diluting what great stock was to had; Daffy's and Loehmann's did same thing.

Daffy's on Madison was a great store when it first opened; tons of designer clothing and leather goods (often with tags fully or partially ripped out). Conde Nast had offices in area and fashion editors/directors from Vogue and other magazines would frequently shop at that Daffy's. Yes, that space has been empty now for a decade or more since Daffy's went bankrupt and closed their stores. Think however with all new construction going on at corner of 42nd and Madison maybe LL is waiting for things to settle before anyone moves in....

Truth to tell finding designer goods at great prices just on the whole isn't what it once was.... Back in the day sample sales were private or in the know events where you got great deals. Now they are advertised and much of what is on offer is tired garbage that didn't sell from several seasons ago. Went to a Prada sample sale years ago held in W57 street area. Saw so many famous names couldn't keep them straight. A few club kids were there as well!

For a time Woodury Common (purple section) was a good resource; but that place too has been taken over by tourists (largely Asians) and others...

Years ago outside of Milan there were groups of shops were you could buy Italian designer goods at reduced prices. Sort of like our sample sales. Everyone in fashion business, wealthy or otherwise connected knew about these places. But sure enough media started spreading word and they too became infested with tourists.

by Anonymousreply 5409/11/2020

[quote] Then it was "discovered" and descended upon by hoards of tourists and people coming into lower Manhattan from elsewhere.

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 5509/11/2020

In other news today Maison Kayser filed for bankruptcy as well; though unlike Century 21 the NYC stores may reopen under a new owner.

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by Anonymousreply 5609/11/2020

In other news today Maison Kayser filed for bankruptcy as well; though unlike Century 21 the NYC stores may reopen under a new owner.

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by Anonymousreply 5709/11/2020

Sad. The one downtown was so iconic. Bought so many great pairs of shoes there.

by Anonymousreply 5809/11/2020

R13 I bet Bethenny had something to do with this. You know she always thought Sonja was a copycat POS.

by Anonymousreply 5909/11/2020

R20 It was a magnet for Euro tourists though, so I suppose they might be disappointed.

Yes, It was always crowded with euro trash.

by Anonymousreply 6009/11/2020

How on earth did a (bad) clothing store chain and a real estate company have the same name???

by Anonymousreply 6109/11/2020

I will miss this store, this is a great store to buy Xmas gifts. Lots of brand names at big discounts.

They have good quality towels for cheap. More brands and greater variety than t.j max.

Lots of sunglasses, wallets, scarfs, ties etc. Huge shoe section!

I bought a few things from daffy's and filenes basement and I remember going to loemann's as well...


by Anonymousreply 6209/11/2020

"Daffy's"??? WTF? LMAO!

by Anonymousreply 6309/11/2020

I've only been to the downtown location.

I wish I lived closer, there will be lots of deals now that it's closing for good.

by Anonymousreply 6409/11/2020

One is Century 21 Real Estate (full name), other is simply Century 21.

Confusion is because few people actually use the former's full name, in fact they don't do so themselves always either. But because Century 21 Real Estate's legal corporate name is just that, they cannot be sued by the department store or otherwise made to give up the name. Well am sure one or the other could have tried to force something, but now the bankruptcy of department store settles matters.

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by Anonymousreply 6509/11/2020

Yes, I always told my friends visiting from overseas to stop by this store for deals when they are in the area visiting the tourist sites.

by Anonymousreply 6609/11/2020

I did too r66. I guess that makes us responsible for the death of Century21.

by Anonymousreply 6709/11/2020

I thought they are a realtor company?

by Anonymousreply 6809/12/2020

I miss Daffy’s!

by Anonymousreply 6909/12/2020

The internet killed all these discount stores. People just sell things online now via various discount designer clothing websites.

There's also the fact that designer goods have fallen out of favor. For a variety of reasons, but the fact that they became too closely associated with rap stars and Chinese tourists didn't help.

by Anonymousreply 7009/12/2020

[Quote] In other news today Maison Kayser filed for bankruptcy as well; though unlike Century 21 the NYC stores may reopen under a new owner.

I love Maison Kayser!! Those shops actually originated in Paris and have the closest thing to real French desserts, despite is stupid name

by Anonymousreply 7109/12/2020

R71, I knew they weren't making money...they donate their unsold breads and sandwiches at the end of the day and they always have a LOT to donate. I walk my dog around one of their locations in midtown.

They have really good deserts.

by Anonymousreply 7209/12/2020

Btter inventory control by department stores, specialty stores and suppliers has meant that fewer bargains are available. Stores like Century 21 weren't what they used to be much like outlet mall stores.

by Anonymousreply 7309/12/2020

Well One Vanderbilt office tower is complete and open; former Daffy's on Madison avenue is just up the street, maybe something will rub off on that space and get it rented.

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by Anonymousreply 74Last Tuesday at 1:37 AM

Loehmann's, Daffy's, Filene's Basement, Syms, like Century 21 existed at a time when they pretty much were the sources for discounted designer/high end goods. Yes, arrival of online didn't help matters, but neither did expansion into market of places like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. Even Bloomingdale's had their own "off price" outlet stores.

You could still find good to great deals up until end when places closed, but it took effort. Much of the time you'd wade through tons of random "Federated stores" garbage to before finding one gem.

Where online such as eBay and others really have hurt is the thrift/designer resale market. Time was you could wander all over NYC or any major city scouting out thrift stores and coming away with great deals. Now of course unless someone is looking for tax deduction, they sell things on eBay or whatever instead of donating to thrifts.

by Anonymousreply 75Last Tuesday at 1:52 AM

Just stick with the Ritz Thrift Shop.

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by Anonymousreply 76Last Tuesday at 4:05 AM

R74 I work nearby that One Vanderbilt building and they are still engaged in considerable construction. Despite what that article says I could not image any business would be willing to move in anytime soon with all that construction racket going on. I would say the middle or end of 2021 should be the earliest.

by Anonymousreply 77Last Tuesday at 4:08 AM

R75, it might be more difficult now, but I’m a very happy thrifter on the UES. Mostly I spend time at Goodwill, but there are a few independent and charity shops I visit.

There are lots of hidden gems at Goodwill, but you have to dig and visit often. Also, the pricers are still, as yet, unfamiliar with many luxe brands and labels. TSE, Anne Fontaine, Stubbs & Wootton, Armand Diradourian, Shanghai Tang... they fly under the radar. I’ve gotten incredibly expensive items for a few bucks because it’s not Ralph Lauren or Gucci. People donate to Goodwill because it’s not worth the trouble of consigning or selling on EBay.

by Anonymousreply 78Last Tuesday at 5:49 AM

Century 21 always has good deals on Calvin Klein and other designer underwear and undershirts. Also its work shirt collection is second to none.

I'll miss it.

by Anonymousreply 79Last Tuesday at 6:54 AM

[quote]Loehmann's, Daffy's, Filene's Basement, Syms, like Century 21 existed at a time when they pretty much were the sources for discounted designer/high end goods.

Don't forget SteinMart, which also filed for bankruptcy and is shutting down.

by Anonymousreply 80Last Tuesday at 8:26 AM

“ It was sexy and disgusting at the same time.”

Yes I LOVE situations like this.

by Anonymousreply 81Last Tuesday at 8:50 AM

I would buy my mom’s Christmas gifts there most years, despite the horrific check out counter situation. Good deals but not a fun shopping experience.

by Anonymousreply 82Last Tuesday at 9:02 AM

[quote]Then it was "discovered" and descended upon by hoards of tourists and people coming into lower Manhattan from elsewhere.

This is pretty much the main theme of New York City. And with the rise of the internet, it only got worse. I have been to so many stores and restaurants that were great until the masses found out about them and then they went significantly downhill or out of business.

by Anonymousreply 83Last Tuesday at 9:17 AM

^^^Not just stores and restaurants, but neighborhoods and boroughs.

And then the little tourist shits buy some crap condo in some chintzy Chinese-construction building that got a zoning variance to be thrown up overnight and named something with a cunning little hipster nod to the history of the city it's destroying. Like "The Knickerbocker" or "The Olmstead" or something.

And then the fuckers, feeling guilty about their trust funds as they well should, vote in Bill DeBolshevik. Who ruins the city, obviously, so they gather up their skirts and run back home to Cos Cob or Greenwich.

Sorry to vent. Thinking about losing Daffy's and the others brings out a bit of rage.

by Anonymousreply 84Last Tuesday at 10:09 AM

Housing Works thrifts used to get some great things as well; but they seemed to have mostly all closed. Only one I know still open is on UWS, rest seemed to have closed, at least in Manhattan.

by Anonymousreply 85Last Wednesday at 1:40 AM

Truvada put a big hole in the inventory supply chain at Housing Works.

by Anonymousreply 86Last Wednesday at 4:45 AM

I prefer REMAX over Century 21.

by Anonymousreply 87Last Wednesday at 9:48 AM


Housing Works then and now still has a decent supply of inventory thanks to gay fashion, interior decorating, real estate mafia.

Designers still donate things to Housing Works, as do gays (and straights) connected to retail or otherwise in fashion industry. Interior decorators sent things their clients don't want or other surplus.

More than supply Housing Works has other issues including like every one else in retail, rent and other associated CODB in NYC. They also shut down all physical locations at beginning of March due to covid-19, no word on when or if any will reopen.

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by Anonymousreply 88Last Wednesday at 5:56 PM

UES HW store closed after being evicted due to building sold for redevelopment (North Shore-LIJ (aka Northwell) Lenox Hill hospital plans a new block long complex.

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by Anonymousreply 89Last Wednesday at 5:58 PM

Brooklyn Heights HW closed due to "landlord/tenant" issues.

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by Anonymousreply 90Last Wednesday at 5:59 PM

I went to C21 today. Had to wait outside for 30 minutes to get in. Inventory is only 10% off at the moment. I bought some socks and sexy underwear.

by Anonymousreply 91Last Wednesday at 6:00 PM

Those realtors were crooks just like car sales subs. Lying, fake ass kissers.

by Anonymousreply 92Last Wednesday at 6:04 PM

Have been thinking about stopping by C21, but those lines though.....

Same with any bankruptcy sale of retail; lowest discounts (but best selection) come early; as weeks progress discounts become greater, but selection less. As weeks go by yes, you can find steeper discounts, but everything is mostly all picked over.

Barney's towards end wasn't giving great discounts, but people still were buying up things. Guess 10% off Kors bag is still 10% off a Kors bag...

by Anonymousreply 93Last Wednesday at 6:06 PM

Strand is about the only “only in NY” store I can think of now that’s worth visiting. Everything else seems to be a national chain you can shop in all over the country.

by Anonymousreply 94Last Wednesday at 6:23 PM


by Anonymousreply 95Last Wednesday at 6:57 PM

There’s no such thing as fashion anymore. The whole world dresses like Albanian gangsters now, in sweat/yoga pants, tee shirts, hoodies & sneakers. Even the vice presidential candidate.

by Anonymousreply 96Last Wednesday at 7:00 PM

[quote] Inventory is only 10% off at the moment

There are bankruptcy companies that run these store closures and you don’t get any bargains. Computer City, Sports Authority, etc etc went to 10% off and no lower in their going-out of-business sales. You got better deals when the stores had regular sales.

by Anonymousreply 97Last Wednesday at 7:03 PM

[quote]There are bankruptcy companies that run these store closures and you don’t get any bargains.

I'm sure the court makes them attempt to turn as much profit as they can to appease their debtors. Otherwise, the clothing could just be distributed to the poor. Or do they send the clothing back to the manufacturer to sell in outlet stores?

by Anonymousreply 98Last Wednesday at 8:23 PM

R98 et al

While it can vary by type of filing, nearly always when there is a complete liquidation/bankruptcy inventory is not returned to vendors, but sold to pay debts.

When it comes to retail keep in mind for places like department stores where there a leased departments, that merchandise never belonged to store in question, so it goes back. That is if one of the Louis Vuitton stores in a Macy's that went bankrupt would see goods go back to LV; not included in liquidation.

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by Anonymousreply 99Last Wednesday at 11:35 PM

I went last weekend and the line was wrapped around the block. I waited in line for 1 hour. It wasn't worth it. Like the poster said, only 10 % off and the selection wasn't great. Yet people were buying the shit up. The prices weren't that great either for the quality of goods.

I didn't want to walk out with nothing so I stocked up on underwear.

by Anonymousreply 100Last Thursday at 8:25 AM

I bought a Century 21 tote bag. I'm going to put it away and then pull it out in five years and start using it.

by Anonymousreply 101Last Thursday at 8:44 AM

[quote] I'm sure the court makes them attempt to turn as much profit as they can to appease their debtors.

They hire a company of liquidators who come in & mark everything 10% off, then they put up giant CLOSING DOWN! GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! BARGAINS GALORE! signs. And retards stand in line to get in and buy things that cost more than they did 2 months ago.

You know how idiots used to line up on Black Friday two days before hand, bring tents, camp out, borrow a minivan & make map routes detailing which stores they’re going to hit in each order?

They’re the ones who wait in line at a store closing to buy things at 10% off that normally went on sale at 20% off.

Happens every time. The same mokes who fall for phone scams and automatically pass along Facebook propaganda stand on line to get ripped off at closing sales. The liquidators take a percentage of the sales.

by Anonymousreply 102Last Thursday at 8:58 AM

I read an article years ago about the liquidation process & how the corporations choose liquidators.. This was back in the days before the print media was obsessed with the daily Donald Trump Twitter feed & actually used to write good articles about what was going on in society. Can’t seem to find it.

by Anonymousreply 103Last Thursday at 9:06 AM

Back when city charged sales tax on clothing 10% off was just about saving that tax with (tiny) bit extra.

IIRC tax now only applies to things that cost over $100, but still it always pays to know prices before going to a liquidation sale. Especially since normally those sort of sales don't allow returns. So if you've bought something and find it later for less, too bad....

by Anonymousreply 104Last Thursday at 9:22 AM

Btw, it’s 10% off the retail price.

by Anonymousreply 105Last Thursday at 9:46 AM

R105 I was about to mention that. It seems that most store never sell their products at the manufacturer suggest retail price in the first place. But when they are going out of business all in a sudden they put their 10 % or 20% mark downs base upon the manufacturer retail price. And most people are just mesmerized of the percentage numbers not knowing percentage from what?

And in regarding about sending clothes back. I read about that most department stores try to do a clearance sale but then after any left over stock it just gets sent to the dump. They are some that probably get offers from stores as Ross or Marshall for their inventories but we're talking about tons that either out of style or fuckin hideous for them to resale. So it cheaper for them to sent it to the dump. And most factories wont accept them back, they are already working on the new styles and dont have room for them and dont want to pay for the container boat ride back to Asia.

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