Welcome To Retail Mania



Young woman choosing cosmetics in a drugstoreSo you think you know retail, huh?  From Saks Fifth Avenue, a luxury service I would liken to my good friends at Luxe Limo Service to the Wal-Marts of the world, there’s an incredible range.

I know. You’ve been to hundreds of retail stores, experienced the best and the worst in service, and pitied the poor souls that work there.

Got it.

But you still don’t know retail.

And while I wish I could talk about the snobbish of the Saks retail service, alas, I’m telling the story of the other end of the spectrum

It’s actually the one below the Wal-Mart retail stores. This is the discount store that buys odd lots, discontinued items, over stock, and so on. I’ll call this store Markdown Mania or MM. And make no mistake, customers love Markdown Mania.

Their devotion to the cheap made shit from China, the processed food and sugary candies that keep them addicted and sick, is unprecedented. These are not just the working poor, they are your neighbors. The ones that make good money working as nurses in hospitals; they work for state agencies, and small, successful businesses.

And they live for a deal.

The Background

This blog takes a back seat look at the customers of MM. Yes, you’ll see some very quirky characters, but it’s really about the management and cashiers who occupy–and put up with–low paying jobs from a billion dollar corporation.

Let me prepare you. This is a dysfunctional culture at its very best or worse, depending on the kind of day you’re having. leaky bucket

Markdown Mania attracts its own following, naturally. But it’s the psychology of that clientele and the management that left me dumbfounded. How do people function in a world where paying the least amount possible is their prime motivation for getting up in the morning.

As for the staff…these are people who no longer, or maybe never did, believe that how they live their lives is a choice. They never consider that it could be anything different. Working long hours for low pay is a way of life.

The thought that they could change that by simply changing their mind set, skill set, and job does not occur to them. Life is outside of their control.

Life is a lot like a leaky bucket. They just keep putting band aids on it and blaming others, wondering why life isn’t working for them. To say that working for Markdown Mania was an eye-opening experience is putting it mildly.

Admittedly, I’m the one who always wears rose-colored glasses. Even though I know better, I always believe the best in people. MM showed me how daft that was. People who work for a corporation develop and hone the same instincts and playing sense as its parent. Why else would the company hire them?

It took me a while to accept that. It took me awhile to figure out that yes, the dog is chasing his tail and complaining about it. But the dog would feel threatened if he was required to do anything else!

Working at Markdown Mania showed me the full monty of my own self-limiting beliefs. It was a five alarm wake up call. I am forever grateful to those that I worked with, and those customers who reflected back my own negative beliefs about money.

You helped me shed a very old skin and step into the light.


Welcome To Markdown Mania

We got cheap shoes…sunglasses…baby toilet seats…ice cream…milk…plastic cheese…toys…seasonal shit…band aids…cosmetics…senior diapers and baby diapers, too…canned goods…an “international” section…electronics…furniture…CD’s…DVD’s….and LOTS of candy.

LOTS. The store runs on candy and processed food.

There’s way more stuff at Markdown Mania, stuff you would never think you need or want until you see it. And that’s the magic of this discount store. Corporate buys out overstocked items and such and then passes it onto the consumer for a ridiculously low price.

And yes, it’s all about price at Markdown Mania. The poor come here with their food stamps, but it’s the middle class that fuels its engine. They come from everywhere to buy cheap furniture, spending $500 to a $1,000 on crap that’s gonna fade in a year or two.

But hey, they got a deal!

And if they bought a piece of furniture last week, and this week it’s on sale? No problem. If you complain, Markdown Mania will pay you the difference in price.

Yes, we’re all about keeping the customer satisfied even though they open up cookies and snacks right there in the store, leaving behind the remnants of a broken package of Oreos and Little Debbie’s.

This is America. We’re the land of the free and the home of the cheap. Come to Markdown Mania to find the deal you couldn’t get at Wal-Mart.

In fact, our customers disdain Wal-Mart. They get downright incensed if we don’t have what they want because they’ll have to go to (say it with me now) WAL-MART.

Markdown Mania is the land beyond Wal-Mart, that hidden gem on the blue collar side of town that keeps the poor in processed food, the middle class in furniture, processed food and patio lights.

And it keeps the marginal worker, usually a woman, employed enough to barely get by. It gives the retired person, usually a woman, a little extra income, or the middle aged person, usually a woman, some money to re-invest into groceries at Markdown Mania.

Find a cheap deal and bring it to the checkout. Your cashier is waiting for you.

Meet the players here.