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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One More Example of Corporate Stupidity

Dear friends,
I wish I was making this up, but I'm not.

Last night I made a purchase at my favorite
Catherine's (a plus-size women's store with locations
all over greater Austin) and the women who worked
there were happily boxing up bras for women who had
fled Katrina. As you may have heard, plus size
clothing-- especially bras-- has been hard to come by.
The Red Cross was willing to pay full price, they had
supplied the needed sizes, and the shipment was to go
to the Austin shelter today.

WELL! This morning I had to exchange one item, so
found myself at Catherine's once again. While I was
standing there a call came in from "upper management"
(undoubtedly a man). It had been decided that
Catherine's could not afford to deplete their stock so
severely because they want to have plenty on hand for
"their customers" for this week's sale (buy 1, get one
half off) and therefore the stores were being ordered
to deliver only half of the Red Cross order. Mind
you, the Red Cross was offering to pay FULL PRICE!
The woman who was assisting me with my purchase broke
down and cried. So did I.

After the cursing and crying was done, I told the
saleswoman to haul two bras, any two, out of the boxes
she had ready to go to the shelter (half of which she
was going to have to put back in stock). Because
there's a sale going on, I paid full price for one and
half price for the other-- so Catherine's got 25% less
out of me than the Red Cross would have paid. So, the
two I bought will go to the shelter in addition to the
half-order paid for by Red Cross.

People, I'm going to spare you the lecture on the
inherent misogyny and racism in corporate America,
particularly in corporations catering to women-- at
least for today.
THIS IS WHAT I'M ASKING YOU TO DO: if you're near a
Catherine's and if you can afford it, please go buy
two bras-- they'll probably still be there boxed up
for the Red Cross-- and have the store include your
purchase with whatever shipment they have still left
to go to the shelter. If you can't buy two, buy one.
Whatever you are able to do, please take a Comment
Card from the counter, fill it out, and tell
Catherine's what you think of their decision to deny
these women the simple decency of a bra that fits.

Remind them that many of these women will end up
resettling in communities where Catherine's does
business and will end up being "real" customers.

Remind them, too, that a sale is a sale and profit is
profit no matter who writes the check-- seems to me
that they could have made more money selling to the
Red Cross at full price than letting individual
purchasers buy at a discount-- what kind of business
sense does that make?

Finally, remind them that they are a wealthy
corporation-- made wealthy by women like many of us
who enjoy and are able to afford their
middle-to-upscale merchandise. The very idea that
we, their customers, are so spoiled and selfish that
we would be unwilling to postpone a purchase for a
week or two so that women in desperate need could be
supplied is insulting-- and it's WRONG! Moreover,
Catherine's could WELL AFFORD to DONATE every last bra
that the shelter needed and they damn well ought to do
it. Please, tell them. Even if you can't go to a
store, here's a link to their website:


Note that they are VERY proud of their "community
relations." Well, they need to get busy and do some
"community relating" in Austin and help these women
Thank you for listening to this rant. Please pass
this email on to everyone you know who is a woman or
who has ever loved a woman-- plus size or not. If you
have a blog or post to a blog, please post it.



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1:39 PM  

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