Today, Megan McArdle of The Atlantic observes that while sales are a staple for most retailers around this time of year, neither very high-end retailers, like Vuitton or Apple, nor their bargain counterparts at Costco, go in for markdowns much. "Why? The answer is that both sets of brands have a very distinct message that discounting wars with. In the case of luxury brands, it is 'This is a product for people who are willing (and able) to pay for quality)'. In the case of the discounters, it is 'You will get the best possible deal every time you shop here.'" Sam's Club should always feel like a steal; having sales would, all things being relative, diminish the specialness of the bargain. Someone buying an LV purse, on the other hand, might feel the splurge was cheapened by the discount. Well, so goes McArdle's thinking, anyway. We wouldn't actually feel that way at all. As long as they don't write "sale" all over the bag, it's all good. [The Atlantic]