true gripes closing-down sales

Click to follow
About a year ago, someone opened a shop near me and immediately announced that it was about to close down. Huge posters appeared in the window, proclaiming the news. Prices were slashed. Customers flocked to the door and carried off their prize, cheap goods. The closing-down sale was a great success.

Funny, then, that a year later the shop is still open. And still about to close down. Now, is that any way to run a business? Apparently so. There seem to be a lot of these shops around lately, all specialising in closing down. Most of them have a loudspeaker stuck in the doorway and a bloke can be heard telling you all about the crazy prices inside. "This is not a gimmick," he says, "and it is not a confidence trick. These goods have got to go: we're closing down and we've got to clear the stock. Come in and see the bargains."

Yet when you go inside, you find they haven't even had the decency to use a real person. Instead, the voice is coming from a tape-player. If you listen long enough, you hear exactly the same words come round again and again. Do they think we're stupid? I don't mind anyone turning a bit of profit, but these claims about closing down are downright fibs.

And what do they sell in these shops? Why, quality products of course. You can tell this because every label has the word "genuine" written on it. So you get "genuine" leather jackets, "genuine" pre-shrunk jeans, and "genuine" nine-carat gold bracelets. I don't know about you, but whenever I see the word "genuine" I straightaway start to have my doubts, and suspect it is all junk. Not that anybody else in the shop seems the slightest bit bothered. They'll fight each other to get their hands on five "genuine" cotton tea-towels for the price of three. Some of them must have whole houses full of these bargains, judging by the amount you see them carting away. Cardboard boxes full of handy household gadgets and inflammable cuddly toys, denim shirts and 1997 diaries (bought early to beat the rush). And all of it brand new.

They end up with so much of this stuff that after a couple of years they are forced to go and flog it all off at a car-boot sale. At a loss, of course.