The 15% Slogan
by Gilles d'Aymery

November 10, 1996


Bloomingdale's, the famous New York retailer, decided to invade Silicon Valley big time. They just opened a store in Palo Alto, California, next to Macy's, in the Stanford Shopping Center. Before its grand opening they organized a concert with Lisa Minelli for the local society. They invited the rest of us by mail to attend "a private preview celebration of the new Bloomingdale's" and to "join for entertainment and a special opportunity to shop prior to the public opening". Enclosed with this invitation were two savings cards; one for us, one for a friend. We just had to "simply present the savings card enclosed to save 15% * on almost everything in the store during this very special event!"

"15% off almost everything* all day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m." Can it be true? 15%? It looks like a merchandising scheme coming directly out of the Dole's campaign; 15% across the board for the entire family. Just imagine the savings. More money in your pocket, your hard-earned money, you god-fearing money, or whatever. Has to work, has to work, it's an outrage, the New York Times, the liberals; a win-win situation where you buy and save all at once. Ha, the miracles of capitalism! The more you spend the more money you keep in your pocket. 15% or how to balance one's own budget. Definitely text-book Dole!

But wait; what is this "almost everything" and this small * next to the 15%? Hold on, I need my glasses to read the fine print. "*some restrictions apply, see back" Hum. And what does the back of the coupons read? Let's grab a magnifying glass first as the print is even finer...

" *Your savings certificate may be used toward any of Bloomingdale's fine merchandise except Place Elegante Designer Sportswear, Maximilian Furs, Furniture, Rugs, Mattresses, Kipling, Tumi, Fine Crystal, Lenox and Wedgwood Special China Collection, Ralph Lauren Home, Calvin Klein Home, Christofle, Tiffany, Royal Velvet, Calphalon, Henckels, Small Electrics, Electronics, Montblanc, Cosmetics and Fragrances, All Fine Jewelry and Fine Watches, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Ferragamo, Judith Leiber, Coach, Nautica, Polo, Ralph Lauren for Men, Tommy Hilfiger, All men Suits, Sportcoats, Trousers, European and American Designer Sportswear and Shoes, cK Calvin Klein Barbie, Bloomie's Barbie, Gift Certificates, TicketMaster, Travel, Custom Furnishings, Design Studio at the Chicago Merchandise Mart, or Martines Chocolates. Your certificate may not be used in conjunction with any other certificate. Limit one certificate per purchase and limit one item per certificate. Not valid on prior purchases or bill payments. Not valid for employees."
An amazingly generous offer, isn't it? You can save 15% of everything as long as it's one--and no more than one -- something called nothing. At least, with Dole, you could have saved enough to purchase a box of tissues!

Are taxes included?

Published November 10, 1996
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