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(The New York Times)   Retail stores are in a LOT more trouble than it looks as an examination of the balance sheets of the few remaining department stores show they are basically credit card companies that give away clothes, shoes, and appliances to cardholders   ( nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Interesting  
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1181 clicks; posted to Business » on 18 May 2017 at 12:45 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-05-18 11:13:43 AM  
It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.
 
2017-05-18 11:36:31 AM  

SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-05-18 11:52:59 AM  

SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.


Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.
 
2017-05-18 12:11:06 PM  

Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.


It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"
 
2017-05-18 12:25:29 PM  

SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.


Or maybe, just maybe, Millennials should work harder, to buy the useless crap that they do not want?
 
2017-05-18 12:27:17 PM  

SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"


I have literally said (to A Muslim cashier, so she should have gotten it)  "I have a religious objection to using credit cards  of any kind" (I don't, unless you consider basic math a religion, but I thought that should be the most effective way to shut them up)   She STILL kept pitching me on the card.   It also opened my eyes to just how outrageously marked up Kohls stufff really was.   I routinely got 20% coupons in Kohl's cash PLUS a 20% friends and family discount PLUS my son's 15-30% employee discount (it fluctuates through the Christmas season)  on stuff that was already "on sale"  AND then you got 10-20% in "Kohl's cash" to use on a future visit.  I like bargain hunting but I began to smell a rt when I bought him two pairs of shoes (that were "50% off" one black Friday  got $25 in Kohl's cash, and the next day was able to use it to buy 4 pairs of pants that were "90% off" on Clearance and selling for $7.50 a pair instead of $75 (they were Izod dress pants so what the hell) .   Now clearly this may be an extreme example an a "perfect storm if you will,  but when I can walk away from a store with 4 pair of pants nad two pairs of dress shoes for $50   they ain;t making a profit on that part of the operation
 
2017-05-18 12:53:57 PM  
basically credit card companies that give away clothes, shoes, and appliances to cardholders

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-05-18 12:57:06 PM  
As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.
 
2017-05-18 01:01:25 PM  
"They took me for an idiot," Mr. Garcia said.

👍
 
2017-05-18 01:03:35 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.


Here's the thing. You keep going to the stores to buy crap you don't need. They win.
 
2017-05-18 01:05:25 PM  

Magorn: SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"

I have literally said (to A Muslim cashier, so she should have gotten it)  "I have a religious objection to using credit cards  of any kind" (I don't, unless you consider basic math a religion, but I thought that should be the most effective way to shut them up)   She STILL kept pitching me on the card.   It also opened my eyes to just how outrageously marked up Kohls stufff really was.   I routinely got 20% coupons in Kohl's cash PLUS a 20% friends and family discount PLUS my son's 15-30% employee discount (it fluctuates through the Christmas season)  on stuff that was already "on sale"  AND then you got 10-20% in "Kohl's cash" to use on a future visit.  I like bargain hunting but I began to smell a rt when I bought him two pairs of shoes (that were "50% off" one black Friday  got $25 in Kohl's cash, and the next day was able to use it to buy 4 pairs of pants that were "90% off" on Clearance and selling for $7.50 a pair instead of $75 (they were Izod dress pants so what the hell) .   Now clearly this may be an extreme example an a "perfect storm if you will,  but when I can walk away from a store with 4 pair of pants nad two pairs of dress shoes for $50   they ain;t making a profit on that part of the operation


I also hate when Kohl's says something is on sale but it isn't. The placard will say SALE in big letters, but when you look at the original price and the sale price, they are the same. I want to like Kohl's but their tactics are becoming sketchy.
 
2017-05-18 01:06:14 PM  

mrlewish: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.

Here's the thing. You keep going to the stores to buy crap you don't need. They win.


I think the last few things I've gotten from Kohls have been socks and underwear.

Trust me, barefoot and bare-assed is not how you want to find me.
 
2017-05-18 01:07:39 PM  

SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"


I just tell them I have one but it is maxed out so I can't use it.
 
2017-05-18 01:28:40 PM  
I am rarely interested in a store-affiliated credit card, mostly because a hard inquiry is worth a lot more to me now than they offer. But I'm certainly using A credit card for any purchases. Some of you sound like you think that's foolish or dangerous or something. I know it can be, but driving carelessly can be very dangerous too. I don't think "don't drive" is a reasonable way to handle that.

Gap/Banana Republic/etc seem to be in dire trouble on both fronts. We shop there once in a while because we do have an old card from them and it offers exploitable promos a few times a year - effectively giving $30 in store credit if I use their card for paying $25 of my internet bill. The quality of their stuff is not great, but at 90% off in their clearance, using promo credits, it's worth a visit. But it sure seems they must be running at a loss both retail and credit card in our case.
 
2017-05-18 01:29:07 PM  
Last August, Mr. Garcia went into a furniture dealer on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn planning to buy a box spring for $100 in cash. But after the aggressive sales pitch, he came out with a full bed set, totaling $2,041

"They took me for an idiot," Mr. Garcia said.


they sure took you, alright
 
2017-05-18 01:35:10 PM  

SurfaceTension: It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.


if the gubmint didn't steal their hard earned money, they wouldn't have to put things on the cards!

/or they'd just put even more on the card
 
2017-05-18 01:44:33 PM  

Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.


Well, Kohls marks up 30% to mark down 30% via the Kohls card... so anyone shopping there without one is a bit of a moron.
 
2017-05-18 01:45:49 PM  

SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"


Man, you're a retail wet dream.

You're paying 30% markup on items at Kohls because you're incapable of managing a credit card bill?

Good thing people like you exist. Suckers allow the rest of us to get cheap stuff.
 
2017-05-18 01:47:23 PM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.


Well, them and the people who are too stupid to sign up for one.
 
2017-05-18 01:48:15 PM  

mrlewish: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.

Here's the thing. You keep going to the stores to buy crap you don't need. They win.


Presumably typing this on a phone or laptop you built by hand, after mining silicon from your backyard and fabricating your own chips?
 
2017-05-18 01:51:22 PM  

Bullseyed: Good thing people like you exist. Suckers allow the rest of us to get cheap stuff.


Ditto.

Home Depot credit card = 1 year interest fee to pay off a new dishwasher and fridge.  Could have paid cash, but if they're going to give their money away...
 
2017-05-18 01:52:33 PM  
Hate Kohl's all you want, but I get asked the same thing at Lowe's and Home Depot. The joke is my wife has a huge credit line at Home Depot, but all she ever buys is a few plants and potting soil. They just sent her the card out of the blue. The guy (me) that has spent thousands of dollars there in the last 10 years, I have to apply!
 
2017-05-18 01:58:05 PM  
The commercial real estate market is heading for disaster.  They are still building commercial buildings even though they can't seem to find any tenants for what has been recently built.   Add to that the empty shells of JCP, Macy's, Sears, Bets Buy, etc.   They can't all become Targets, Walmarts, Home Depots, and Dollar Trees.

The housing real estate crash was terrible, but home prices eventually rebounded.  It turns out people need a place to live.  For commercial real estate, what happens when people no longer need a place to shop?

//"There was a shopping mall, now it's all covered with flowers"
 
2017-05-18 01:58:31 PM  

room at the top: Bullseyed: Good thing people like you exist. Suckers allow the rest of us to get cheap stuff.

Ditto.

Home Depot credit card = 1 year interest fee to pay off a new dishwasher and fridge.  Could have paid cash, but if they're going to give their money away...


Watch for the 24-month 0% interest deals.  Can't beat that.  Just make sure they're paid off before the clock runs out.
 
2017-05-18 02:02:55 PM  
CSB:
When I was younger, I was a typist at a bankruptcy law firm. I had to gather debtors' outstanding debts and other financial information and compile it into a petition.

Over time, I came to identify a few different classes of filer. There were people who got bum rushed with medical bills, there were people who lost jobs. People who had a spouse die and couldn't keep up with house payments without the extra Social Security money.

And then there were people who always said yes to store cards. I felt bad for all the others, but these schmucks always made me wince. And ironically, at the time credit card debt was fully dischargable in bankruptcy, so they often got off the easiest. Go figure.
 
2017-05-18 02:12:41 PM  
Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?

Bringing back the layaway option might be a good way to attract customers back to brick and mortar stores. Clearly, it's also a healthier way to buy things (when you take the item home, it's paid for), which is of no interest to retailers, but if it's a choice between keeping customers or not, maybe the stores will decide it's better to get people in the doors.

Then again, maybe not.
 
2017-05-18 02:19:17 PM  

Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?


Walmart (maybe a few others) brought it back around the time of the Great Recession/Credit Crunch. I'm not sure they kept it around though. They don't appear to promote it as much any more.
 
2017-05-18 02:21:07 PM  

sirrerun: Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?

Walmart (maybe a few others) brought it back around the time of the Great Recession/Credit Crunch. I'm not sure they kept it around though. They don't appear to promote it as much any more.


A quick googling™ shows it's still a thing.
 
2017-05-18 02:35:31 PM  

Fabric_Man: CSB:
When I was younger, I was a typist at a bankruptcy law firm. I had to gather debtors' outstanding debts and other financial information and compile it into a petition.

Over time, I came to identify a few different classes of filer. There were people who got bum rushed with medical bills, there were people who lost jobs. People who had a spouse die and couldn't keep up with house payments without the extra Social Security money.

And then there were people who always said yes to store cards. I felt bad for all the others, but these schmucks always made me wince. And ironically, at the time credit card debt was fully dischargable in bankruptcy, so they often got off the easiest. Go figure.


and here's the really fun part.  I studied this carefully professionally whenthe Bankruptcy "reforms" in 2005 were being debated.   The average credit card issuer, made a PROFIT, even on discharged debts.  In other words if you look at the amount people broowed (charged) and they payments they made on that debt, almost invariably even in the worst bankruptcies, the card issuer had already reieved a proft on the principle advanced, even as tens of thousands of dollars of additional debt was discharged (that they then got to write off as losses)
 
2017-05-18 02:37:37 PM  

natazha: Hate Kohl's all you want, but I get asked the same thing at Lowe's and Home Depot. The joke is my wife has a huge credit line at Home Depot, but all she ever buys is a few plants and potting soil. They just sent her the card out of the blue. The guy (me) that has spent thousands of dollars there in the last 10 years, I have to apply!


If they sent your wife an unsolicited credit card, then its probably identity theft.
 
2017-05-18 02:40:59 PM  

Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?

Bringing back the layaway option might be a good way to attract customers back to brick and mortar stores. Clearly, it's also a healthier way to buy things (when you take the item home, it's paid for), which is of no interest to retailers, but if it's a choice between keeping customers or not, maybe the stores will decide it's better to get people in the doors.

Then again, maybe not.


Lawaway is alive and well at Wal-mart.   and even Kohls for that matter.   It's just few people know about Kohl's whereas walmart advertises their a great deal.    it's honestly the one thing I cannot figure out about Wal-Mart:  In almost every single way they are one of the worst corporate citizens in America.  They underpay thier workforce so badly we subsidize then to the tune of $4 billion a year in benefits,   they destroy local businesses and anihilate local tax bases.....BUT the ONE thing they do not do is financially exploit their customers even though thier customer base are the ones most ripe for it.   Their "Bluebird" checking account alternative product is, by far, the fairest and least larcenous of all pre-paid debit card and checking account alternative products on the market .  They do layaway rather than pimping sore brand credit cards and their Western Union alternative is WAY cheaper than its competitors.   For a company so ruthless it is VERY out of character
 
2017-05-18 03:11:00 PM  

Bullseyed: SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"

Man, you're a retail wet dream.

You're paying 30% markup on items at Kohls because you're incapable of managing a credit card bill?

Good thing people like you exist. Suckers allow the rest of us to get cheap stuff.


Don't get judgy. Experience has taught me that the sucker bet for me is trying to manage credit cards. Much better for me to buy my "stuff" with cash. I'm glad a different system works for you.
 
2017-05-18 03:37:24 PM  

room at the top: Bullseyed: Good thing people like you exist. Suckers allow the rest of us to get cheap stuff.

Ditto.

Home Depot credit card = 1 year interest fee to pay off a new dishwasher and fridge.  Could have paid cash, but if they're going to give their money away...


This. I did this with a card. I knew I needed it. I knew I had the money for it to cover it. They offer it at 0% for 18 months, then I set that aside and pay for it. Meanwhile, I'm earning points on the card. Thanks for the free money.
 
2017-05-18 04:01:49 PM  

Magorn: Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?

Bringing back the layaway option might be a good way to attract customers back to brick and mortar stores. Clearly, it's also a healthier way to buy things (when you take the item home, it's paid for), which is of no interest to retailers, but if it's a choice between keeping customers or not, maybe the stores will decide it's better to get people in the doors.

Then again, maybe not.

Lawaway is alive and well at Wal-mart.   and even Kohls for that matter.   It's just few people know about Kohl's whereas walmart advertises their a great deal.    it's honestly the one thing I cannot figure out about Wal-Mart:  In almost every single way they are one of the worst corporate citizens in America.  They underpay thier workforce so badly we subsidize then to the tune of $4 billion a year in benefits,   they destroy local businesses and anihilate local tax bases.....BUT the ONE thing they do not do is financially exploit their customers even though thier customer base are the ones most ripe for it.   Their "Bluebird" checking account alternative product is, by far, the fairest and least larcenous of all pre-paid debit card and checking account alternative products on the market .  They do layaway rather than pimping sore brand credit cards and their Western Union alternative is WAY cheaper than its competitors.   For a company so ruthless it is VERY out of character


People who remain solvent also remain customers.
 
2017-05-18 04:46:11 PM  
But retailers mostly employ women and minorities, so those jobs aren't as important as coal-mining jobs.
 
2017-05-18 06:27:15 PM  

bark_atda_moon: The commercial real estate market is heading for disaster.  They are still building commercial buildings even though they can't seem to find any tenants for what has been recently built.   Add to that the empty shells of JCP, Macy's, Sears, Bets Buy, etc.   They can't all become Targets, Walmarts, Home Depots, and Dollar Trees.

The housing real estate crash was terrible, but home prices eventually rebounded.  It turns out people need a place to live.  For commercial real estate, what happens when people no longer need a place to shop?

//"There was a shopping mall, now it's all covered with flowers"



That makes me think of this suburban plaza near my dad's.  They built a typical "L" shaped structure and almost immediately had two tenants, a DrugMart and a Restaurant.  The adjacent limb sat completely empty for ~5 years for some reason.  Last year they simply demolished the limb, which I was entertained by in a comedic fashion(I'm an economics "spectator").  They then rebuilt that a month later (ok).  And today it has a few seemingly stable tenants.  I wonder if it was a building code thing or just shoddy construction.  The original two tenants have been there since the beginning, but the restaurant slot changes tenants every couple years it seems.
 
2017-05-18 06:48:13 PM  

This text is now purple: mrlewish: Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: As long as the people who suck at math are happy with subsidizing my revolving store credit and 0 interest charges, I'll keep using the card.

Here's the thing. You keep going to the stores to buy crap you don't need. They win.

I think the last few things I've gotten from Kohls have been socks and underwear.

Trust me, barefoot and bare-assed is not how you want to find me.


Those are the two things that never have a sale there (I don't consider something on sale there unless it's at least 40% off sticker).  They've always got racks and racks and racks of shirts and pants on clearance of 60-90% off.
 
2017-05-18 07:53:13 PM  

SurfaceTension: It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.


I can't do jack shiat about a 15-20% tax rate, but I can sure as hell ensure I don't pay 30% on a credit card.

Common sense people, don't be stupid.  This should be taught in high school FFS.
 
2017-05-18 08:13:33 PM  

Magorn: SurfaceTension: Magorn: SurfaceTension: It's almost as though if you strip away every bit of discretionary spending money from the working class, they aren't going to go out and buy things.

Unless you can connive them to take advantage of EZ credit and spend themselves into debt on what they need right now.

My son worked at Kohls for a while and their utter reliance on those damn charge cards became screamingly obvious to me as that was the #1 thing they evaluated employees on, how many credit card sign ups they got. Not how courteous or knowledgeable they were, not how fast they checked people out or how hard they worked, but sign-ups.   And as the Employees quickly found out, they market of Kohl's shoppers was pretty saturated already.  They firmly believed that Kohls hires extra help sometimes just to get new bodies to pressure into getting a credit card.

It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.

I shop at Kohl's and Target and get asked at checkout every time if I want to sign up. Ask me once, and I politely decline, since I know the cashier is just doing her job. Ask me a second time, and I get mildly snooty about, usually saying something like "If I wanted one, I'd have it already!"

I have literally said (to A Muslim cashier, so she should have gotten it)  "I have a religious objection to using credit cards  of any kind" (I don't, unless you consider basic math a religion, but I thought that should be the most effective way to shut them up)   She STILL kept pitching me on the card.   It also opened my eyes to just how outrageously marked up Kohls stufff really was.   I routinely got 20% coupons in Kohl's cash PLUS a 20% friends and family discount PLUS my son's 15-30% employee discount (it fluctuates through the Christmas season)  on stuff that was already "on sale"  AND then you got 10-20% in "Kohl's cash" to use on a future visit.  I like bargain hunting but I began to smell a rt when I bought him two pairs of shoes (that were "50% off" one black Friday  got $25 in Kohl's cash, and the next day was able to use it to buy 4 pairs of pants that were "90% off" on Clearance and selling for $7.50 a pair instead of $75 (they were Izod dress pants so what the hell) .   Now clearly this may be an extreme example an a "perfect storm if you will,  but when I can walk away from a store with 4 pair of pants nad two pairs of dress shoes for $50   they ain;t making a profit on that part of the operation


That's why 90% of my family's clothes are from Kohl's. My wife will wait for the right sale with the right coupons and walk out with 10 outfits for our kids, a few polos for me, and a shirt or 3 for her for like $60.  Her mom is the exact opposite.  She never watches the sales, only has coupons when my wife goes with her, and will spend $100 on a sweater.
 
2017-05-18 08:25:00 PM  
Your Kohl's clothes cost less than a dollar.
 
2017-05-18 08:55:03 PM  

thismomentinblackhistory: Your Kohl's clothes cost less than a dollar.


There is a reason I neither shop for our clothes, nor manage our finances.

///She has paid less than a $1 an item between clearance prices and other discounts, but it is rare.  Usually kids clothes are in the $3-$5 per item range, ours are $10-$15.
 
2017-05-19 12:34:51 AM  

Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?


Besides small local stores (usually jewelry/furniture), I think the only store left that offers Layaway on a large scale is Kmart, but..they are going the way of the dodo and probably won't exist by the end of the year.

But it's okay, we have tons of Aaron's and Rent A Center stores popping up all over the place where you can rent a couch for $20 a week for 12 months, or you could just go to Big Lots and buy an okay couch for $300, but the poors usually aren't financially smart in any form which is obviously the main issue here.
 
2017-05-19 01:04:27 AM  

Magorn: Nogale: Do any retail chains still offer layaway, or has that gone the way of the dodo?

Bringing back the layaway option might be a good way to attract customers back to brick and mortar stores. Clearly, it's also a healthier way to buy things (when you take the item home, it's paid for), which is of no interest to retailers, but if it's a choice between keeping customers or not, maybe the stores will decide it's better to get people in the doors.

Then again, maybe not.

Lawaway is alive and well at Wal-mart.   and even Kohls for that matter.   It's just few people know about Kohl's whereas walmart advertises their a great deal.    it's honestly the one thing I cannot figure out about Wal-Mart:  In almost every single way they are one of the worst corporate citizens in America.  They underpay thier workforce so badly we subsidize then to the tune of $4 billion a year in benefits,   they destroy local businesses and anihilate local tax bases.....BUT the ONE thing they do not do is financially exploit their customers even though thier customer base are the ones most ripe for it.   Their "Bluebird" checking account alternative product is, by far, the fairest and least larcenous of all pre-paid debit card and checking account alternative products on the market .  They do layaway rather than pimping sore brand credit cards and their Western Union alternative is WAY cheaper than its competitors.   For a company so ruthless it is VERY out of character


The Bank of Walmart was chartered fairly recently, after the initiation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; walmart's finance department's entire population consisted of people trying to keep the CFPB happy, from day one. Contrast with the Big Banks who were populated with people who were previously operating in the gray market, and needed to unlearn bad habits first *cough*Wells Fargo*cough*BofA before they could go fully legit.
 
2017-05-19 10:37:07 AM  

SurfaceTension: It's shocking how much people will complain about paying an effective 15-20% tax rate, but think nothing of paying 30% on a retail credit card.


I've been thinking a lot about this, and some of the blame lies with the fact that our schools make no attempt to teach basic financial literacy.

I have a big spreadsheet for projecting my cash flow over the next 12 months. It's obviously very helpful for seeing how I spend my money, saving for big purchases, etc. I bet 99% of Americans do not do this, but if it was suggested to them and they were given a little instruction, many would. Maybe a two day seminar during college orientation?

And along these lines, lots of people do not use credit cards believing that they'll be more frugal if they only pay for goods with cash because it's tangible (you see this argument in every Fark credit card thread). One advantage of paying for everything with credit cards is that you have a comprehensive record of your spending habits - quite useful if you're looking for ways to spend less. And AMEX has all kinds of tools for tracking spending by category - also really useful for getting a handle on your finances.
 
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