Sales! Everything –50%

I was rather surprised to see that this article (PDF/Dutch) didn’t generate more buzz in the Belgian blogosphere. Let me explain.

It’s sales period in Belgium as always during the first month of January. These sales are indeed only allowed a certain moments of the year and are heavily regulated. I won’t go into the details as it’s not to the point (and I would have to look them up ;)).

So what happens at Mango, a fashion retailer? They have almost everything at 50% off, great sales. But if you take away the sales price tag? You notice the ‘real’ original price, shown quite clearly on this photo:


So in reality they’re only giving like 30% off versus what they are advertising right now. According to the folks at the Federal Dept. of Economics what happened here is legally allowed so case closed.

I don’t get it though, legal or not, this is not really showing much respect for your customers is it? Legal or not, we should all find this a problem, seriously. I can already see how the conversation at the Mango office would have been a couple of weeks ago:

GM (General Moron): Alright, January sales are coming up, let’s do all at –50%
MD (Marketing/Sales Dude): Great idea boss, let’s go do it
MD: One problem though, we cannot afford –50%, we wouldn’t make enough profit
GM: That’s not what we want is it … mmm … still want those big –50% stickers on my shops though
MD: I got an idea, why don’t we claim the prices of our products are a bit higher than they really are… and then give 50% off, nobody will notice…
GM: You’re the best! Let’s go get them.

Common practice? According to some it is. Legally ok? Apparently yes. But what I remember from Mango is that they have made it clear they shouldn’t be trusted. Happy shopping.

[Via Goedles]



  1. Goedles says:

    After reading it in the newspaper, I was also surprised that people didn’t make a big deal out of it. You can imagine my shock when I discovered I was framed :)
    But the answer I got from Mango, is that the price underneath is the price in Spain and Portugal, which is lower than the Belgian price due to import costs etc.
    But I don’t understand how they are suddenly Spanish tickets hanging on clothes in Belgium. I can’t image that they import these clothes from Spain just for the sales period?

  2. Kris Hoet says:

    Good to see they came back to you… I don’t buy it though. I don’t know much about fashion retail but that answer doesn’t make sense to me.

  3. Great posy. No doubt about it. Mango are duplicitous.

  4. Jeroen says:

    Mmmm. Not good.

    However, apparently this happens all the time. You and I may not be shopping experts, but my wife reacted with a casual “of course darling, everyone knows that, I aways peel off the label in the shop to see what’s underneath”.

    Even though people see right through that kind of thing, it doesn’t mean they won’t be lookng for a bargain at Mango anymore. It’s just a very transactional, loveless relationship. And it seems that Mango thinks that’s good enough.

  5. Kris Hoet says:

    Happens all the time… as I said, that’s probably very true. Don’t like it more because of that though, still tells you something about the value those brands give to the relationship with their customers. Pretty loveless indeed, and not very respectful if you ask me.

  6. Goedles says:

    Me agrees. Just because it happens all the time doesn’t make it less worse. On the contrary.

  7. Bart says:

    Sales in Belgium are a big joke.
    They should drop all the rules,
    otherwise you get these kind of situations.

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