Those of us who shop at Macy’s (my office is directly opposite the world’s largest store, so that often includes me) know that they sprinkle discounts, coupons and special offers as freely as sugar packets at Starbucks.
Now, through their Disaster Assistance Program, they are offering “20% discounts throughout the store*” and “10% off furniture, mattresses and rugs*” for those affected by the hurricane.
So, how, possibly can a curmudgeon like me find any fault with the discounts?
Because they sprinkle around the items excluded just as freely.
It is one thing to have, as they usually do throughout the year, exclusions for certain departments, or brand names. But here, to me, is a lost opportunity to take a higher road.
Their list of exclusions for the program goes on forever. And, most ludicrously, includes exclusions for furniture, mattresses and area rugs/floor covering. Though these are the same things being offered at a 10% discount.
On the positive side, Macy’s is very thoughtfully matching, dollar-for-dollar, donations to the American Red Cross for assistance with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. And I am sure there are certain licensing restrictions as to what they can offer discounts on. And they usually offer many charitable programs.
But this time they could have made a much bigger impact with fewer asterisks.
If you are planning to help victims of the hurricane, may I suggest you don’t make it appear that you are doing it strictly from a business perspective (Lawyers offering complimentary consultations) or offer aid with so many restrictions as to be essentially a sham.
Though you would have to go a long way to match the chutzpah of the contractor who had this quote in the New York Times. “I always look forward to a natural disaster,” said Doug Palmieri, owner of Palmieri Construction in Middlefield, Conn. “The last two storms we had around here, the snow we had included, helped out the contracting business quite a bit.”