Slightly Off Target.

Dear Target,

I love you. I really do. I adore your wide aisles, your children’s clothes and shoes, your lack of Walmartian bedlam, your maternity camisoles that actually go over a pregnant belly unlike Motherhood Maternity’s which don’t make it past a gestating ribcage, your pleasingly geometric notebooks and bedspreads and various other pretty things, your Starbucks in every store, and your selection of chocolate.

However.

Even though all those rumors of you being a French company are false, it seems that you don’t understand the English Language. Or at least with the same breadth and detail as us consumers.

Clearance. What does the word mean to you? To us, and by us I mean all humans, we hear “clear” which means that you’re trying to get rid of an item – perhaps seasonal, perhaps not popular, perhaps discontinued.

Clearing out unwanted inventory is something we like being a part of. But only when properly motivated.

And so, “clearance” better mean “50% off or more.”

Target Clearance

That’s right, Target. 15% off is NEVER clearance. It’s barely enough to make me consider getting something I do need, let alone something I don’t.

You need to take a moment to recognize that Publix routinely marks regular products down to “Buy One Get One Free”, or effectively 50% off, and doesn’t even make a big deal about it.

Every. Single. Day.

I know, right? I bet you need a diaper just thinking about it. Clearance – 15% off.

Too bad for you they’re not *really* on sale.

Publix has opened Oz’s curtain for us – we now know that you big retailers are capable of charging us half as much and still making money.

And you need to quit lying to us.

So. For you and for all of your retail friends, here is a helpful glossary.

Good Deal: You have my permission to use this term when your regular price beats over half of your competitor’s prices. I appreciate you letting me know about your good deals and I will reward you accordingly. However, you need to know that this term alerts me to the fact that you may never have this item on sale, so I might watch for it in your competitor’s sale papers.
Other acceptable terms: Everyday low price, everyday values.

Reduced: You may use this term when you’ve lowered your prices by ten cents or more. Don’t use it on a penny – we’ll see that and Instagram your ridiculousness in a hot second. And just so you know, 15% off definitely falls under the “Reduced” category – so invest in more Reduced signs and less Clearance signs.
Other acceptable terms: markdown, price reduction.

Coupon: DO NOT print me a coupon at the register for 25¢ off six cans of dog food. First of all I don’t have a dog and second of all if I did I wouldn’t, couldn’t, would rather die before keeping up with a piece of paper for two weeks that will save me 4.17 cents off of each item. I could pick up that much money in the parking lot if I needed it.

Here’s the coupon guideline. If it’s under a dollar, I won’t ever use it. And really if I’m being honest, if it’s under five dollars, I’ll probably forget I have it. Okay – if you really want me to use your stupid coupon it better be fifty dollars off a product that costs ten.

Sale: To be officially recognized as a sale, the item in question must be at least 25% off. NO EXCEPTIONS. 24% off is simply a markdown – don’t try to fleece us. Sale also inherently implies that it will be off-sale at some point in the future, so if that is not the case, you may call it a Permanent Markdown – just because the price is permanent does not a clearance make.

Clearance: Using the term “Clearance” for less than 50% off is like calling a bumblebee honey – it’s WRONG, and I get really upset if I accidentally bite. Half off is the absolute MINIMUM, guys. When you find yourselves starting to falter on this issue, just remember Publix. BOGO every day.

Speaking of,

BOGO: BOGO stands for “Buy one, get one free.” It does NOT stand for “Buy one, get one half off” or “Buy one, get one 25% off” or “Buy One Get this other random piece of crap for free.” If you break this sacred rule, then I will never be your friend.

Blowout: A blowout must be 75% off or more (unless we’re talking about the hair process, in which case it’s a stupid name.) Blowout implies “this is the best deal you’ll ever find on this product.” And, as I’m a good deal finder, you better work for it. 90% off is preferred.

Event: Ain’t nobody got time for events, unless you’re giving away free stuff. And it better be an entire cart of free stuff. So if you’re gonna have a Tampon Event and I read your fine print that tampons are 20% off and THAT’S what you’re calling an event, I’m gonna sic all my Event Planner friends on your PR people. And Event Planners are a group of humans that are not fun when they’re indignant – take my word for it.

There. That’s not too hard to follow, is it?

THEN WHY AM I STILL SEEING 15% OFF CLEARANCE IN ALL THE STORES?!

I’ll be practicing my calm breathing until you fix it.