The Recession, Shopping, Shoes and Blue Law

Last week, we in the CC went to the mall. It was need-based. No grand scheme to shop our way out of the recession, but there were many people who seemed to be doing just that. The mall was crowded. Not holiday crowded, but just enough to bump a few shoulders and dodge mothers wielding strollers.

Why the crowds? One possible reason, shoe sales. There is nothing like a shoe sale to get women out of the house and into stores. It is amazing. Most in the CC are shoe crazy, but one person is purse crazy and another is accessory and top crazy. Her theory; buy a few inexpensive trendy tops and accessories each season and you have a new outfit.

A sale is not always a sale especially when you are not talking about shoes. Paying a higher than desired price for shoes is one thing, but clothing is quite another. To that point, we noticed that not all of the so-called additional percentage off all ready ‘marked down’ deals was in fact a deal. In most cases, the first markdown was only 25% to 30% and the additional percentage off is typically 15% or 20%. However, we do have a ‘shopper’ in the CC who did manage to find a 3-piece suit (bridge department) that retailed for $360, was marked down 50%, then marked down to $79 and with an additional off coupon the suit was $63 and change. Of course, it had a goofy shiny top you would hate once you got home.

Anyway, this brings us back to the recession. The salesperson who waited on us said the mall would be closing an hour earlier on Sundays due to the recession. That got us all reminiscing about a time when retail stores closed on Sunday. It was called the Blue Law. Blue laws restricting behavior on Sundays began with Puritan colonists, who outlawed drunkenness and public excess on what they considered a day of worship. In 1961, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law, but forced states to find a reason for the law that was not religious. That got us all thinking, for purely economic reasons (take your pick) and to save energy perhaps closing stores on Sundays again would be a good idea.


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