Monday, October 3, 2011

What will last longer, me, the shoes, or the store that sold them?

My new shoes, available in limited sizes for anyone with $8.74
I purchased a pair of Trim Step tennis shoes at a box store known for good bargains, Target.

I'm known for sniffing out good bargains on end-caps, bottom shelves, and any odd assortment of places stores make interesting to browse.

Here's the 'kicker,' the shoes cost $8.74.

After the bloom of the purchase wore off I began to wonder why I could buy shoes at such an awesome price. They came with shoe strings. They aren't cheap feeling. I stumbled into a shoe design that encourages muscle toning in the legs, improves posture and reduces stress on feet, knees and back. They have that new roll bottom that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle.

I'm all for those kind of auxiliary benefits, especially when it comes in my size.

I did a quick look on the Internet and noted that, today, I could have purchased the same shoes online from Target for $12.24. At the branch where I made my purchase they are now listed for $5.54. At two of the company's other stores, within 10 miles, they were $6.99, $10.91, and $11.74.

Living in the land of NIKE, heightens your expectation of the cost of shoes. Finding sports, or sports-like shoes for less than ten dollars seems surreal. Finding them in your size is both surreal and of fairy tale proportions.

This leads me to two conclusions: the store selling them has issues and when shoes are less than ten dollars, the economy is tanking.

A superficial search online shows that prices are dropping in a variety of categories. Motorola dropped the price on it's Atrix 4G phone, Walmart plans to drop the price of its Xbox, Nientendo dropped the price of the 3DS, and Price Pinx and Free Price Alerts, among others monitored everyone's fall.

Venture outside of electronics and price dropping is just as prevalent. In August, gas dropped eight cents across Texas. Across the nation and in every neighborhood, home prices dropped.

Taxes, however, did not drop.

Nevertheless, if shoes continue to be available for less than ten bucks, I agree with Business Week, the store selling them, "needs to refine its strategy." The addition of groceries at Target, and the additional five percent off when you use the company-issued debit or credit card have helped revenue, but not the bottom line.

Not enough profit.

Here's some advice for a refined strategy: sell shoes for fifteen bucks.

While I ponder the inevitable, that despite all common sense, taxes will only increase, I shall ponder that thought while walking a mile everyday just to see how long these $8.74 shoes will last.

What do you think will last longer, me, the shoes, or the store that sold them?