Excluding exclusions for the purpose of exclusion Hobbies & Travel

Hello everyone:

Even though I usually blog on Tuesdays and Fridays, this simply could not wait. There is a sale that I absolutely must tell you about.

It is at one of my favorite stores, Banana Republic.  Their merchandise is nicely made and is generally a great price. I shop there several times a year, especially for my sons.

Here’s the deal: when I was walking at the mall today, I noticed a giagantic sign on Banana Republic’s window: 40% off everything! Hey, that sounded good to me, count me in.

Underneath that siren call were the somewhat smaller words “No exclusions for Banana Republic merchandise.” I thought everything in that store was BR merchandise, but who am I to argue? Fine, we’re still good. I’m going to get my purse when my fitness walk is finished and I am so in that store!

Underneath those words, in much smaller font, were the words “some exclusions apply.” Now wait a minute here. Everything is included, including the inclusion of merchandise that BR doesn’t actually own, except for what is not included. Am I following here? Or are we excluding exclusions for the purposes of exclusion? I am not sure what’s happening here, but it doesn’t sound good.

This kinda reminds me of the one-day Macy’s sales that are frequently advertised. The preview day is Friday and the sale is Saturday but it has been my experience when attending preview days that they NEVER ask you to put the merchandise back and return on Saturday. We may have some fuzzy math going here, but that really sounds like a two-day one-day sale there. (If they really wanted to be creative, why not add in a “review day” so that their two-day one-day sale could actually last three days?) Macy’s, I have provided that worthwhile idea completely free of charge. You’re welcome.

Folks, can you help me out here? What is going on with my beloved Banana Republic? Is what I want excluded or included? It would be great to hear from you.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.


    Dearly beloved, Banana Republic is gathered here today………to confuse their clientele, clearly.
    Well, I believe that the 40% discount sign is simply a clever marketing strategy to get customers in the door. Most people, like myself, do not see very clearly past the percentage sign. Let’s face it, we all love the feeling we get when we purchase items on sale. This is an important reminder to read between the lines. I’m still confused about that fine print. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jules:
      So glad to have you here! I agree that the 40% discount achieved its purpose- I walked in, looked around, checked some tags, and left. I will go back when it’s closer to Christmas, but they did get me to cross the threshold. The beginning of your post really made me smile- it also reminded me of the marriage scene in Doc Martin, where the pastor says, “Bearly deloved…”
      Dr. Sheri

  2. Dr. Sheri

    My mom loves shopping at Banana Republic. Every time she wears an outfit from there she feels like Americans next top model. I believe we should be very careful when it comes to sales. Not only should customers have great eyes or a microscope to read the small “rules” that apply about the promotions, but they also need mathematical skills. Most of these stores usually boost up the prices of their merchandise before a sales event. When the customer reads the discounted price all they care about is the money they are supposed to be saving. But in reality they are not saving anything, because the prices were boosted and the discount simply brings the merchandise back to its original price. Kohls have been doing this for years and not many people notice.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! I love shopping at Banana Republic, as well. I agree that we need to be careful with sales. I actually stopped shopping at Penney’s because there was so much fine print on all of their coupons. It seemed that I always selected something that was not included in the sale. Every time. I got extremely good at selecting the items that woudl never go on sale. And then they stopped having sales all together because someone at corporate headquarters did not understand that women love sales. Penney’s almost went bankrupt. Now they are back but still have disappointing coupons. I look forward to hearing from you again!

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