Sunday, December 28, 2008

I guess they don't wanna sell 'em

I've been wearing my Danner Agitators for about two and a half years now, and they're pretty much well and truly used up. I've almost walked the sole off these things. I'd replace 'em, except for two issues: my employer doesn't carry Danners anymore, and they've discontinued this model. Can't figure that one out; we always seemed to sell quite a lot of 'em.

I have several friends that have Merrells, of various styles and makes. They've all got good things to say about 'em, so I figured I'd brave the crowds on Saturday and head out to Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. It was a balancing act: not really wanting to be at the mall on the Saturday after Christmas, versus knowing there were three different stores that carry Merrells, as well as a bunch of others that I would be willing to try. However, that's not how it all worked out.

I went to every place that had hiking boots, and to be honest, there were almost no decent sales going on. At best, there were a few styles that they had thin stock of, marked down to, at best, 20%. Most were along the lines of 10%. They still had quite a bit of stock; I was able to try on three or four different styles and brands. That's not always easy, as I wear a 13 wide. That's to be expected, since I'm 6' 6". I have fairly small feet for my size, and can ususally buy off the rack. That wasn't the case this time around. Stuff I was interested in was either full retail, or they had 5's and 6's left, with a puny discount.

Seems to me, if you're gonna depend on Christmas to make your year as most retailers do, you'd want to move as much product as you could so as not to have to pay taxes on it. That would seem to say that the economy, while not doing well, isn't quite as crippled as we'd been lead to believe. Stuff not being on sale, and indeed being priced at the regular retail price after Christmas, is a sign that they either misjudged badly (unlikely, because so few places were doing the normal deep discounting) or they felt that it wasn't the strategy that was necessary. Either way, I didn't buy any Merrells yesterday, or North Face, or Columbia.

But I didn't walk away empty handed yesterday. The Oakley Vault store pretty much always has stuff at the full retail price, so I don't generally buy stuff there. There are ways to get that stuff wholesale, if you know the right people, even though we're not an Oakley dealer anymore.

When Oakley is dumping footwear, they discount it very, very deeply. What I ended up scoring from the discontinued section was a pair of the Flak Low tactical shoes. I would have prefered the mids, or even the highs, but for $20, I'm gonna rock these until they fall apart. Yeah, that's right: twenty bucks. Even online most places have 'em between $80 and $90+. To say the least, I'm quite pleased. These are going to work nicely at the SHOT show in a few weeks.

San Diego is whipping Denver right now. Looks like the Chargers are gonna take the AFC West crown. All is right with the world tonight.

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