By and  on November 11, 2008

You’ve heard of secret Santas. How about secret sales? They’re going on all over town. Promotions such as Barneys’ Purple Card and Saks mid-October Friends and Family Sale have been on since early last month. Now, price breaks, presales and one-, two- and three-day sales can be found at all the major stores. A big case of economic cause-and-effect as stores across the country recently reported dismal sales figures? It would seem so, but it’s one about which they prefer to remain sotto voce to a reporter, even as some have decked their stores with can’t-miss sales signage and most are working their customer e-mail lists like Barack Obama.

“Retailers in the current economic climate realize that they have to get the customer in the store,” said Robert Burke of Robert Burke Associates, a consulting firm, maintaining that sales broke earlier than ever this season. “The quickest way to do that is by being promotional, which means having sales.”

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