Ken Jennings


November 17, 2008

I’m flying out to Knoxville, Tennessee in a couple hours, to host a special anniversary version of a local high school quiz show. So I’m not sure about my time or Internet availability over the next few days, but I’ll try to check in on the blog if I can. Because I’m sure you’re all pretty interested in the regional high school quiz shows of eastern Tennessee. Hmmm, that sounds like a Mountain Goats song title.

At Costco yesterday, I noticed they were stocking a new item that might be hard to retail:

SALE! signs! For sale!

As you can imagine, selling SALE! signs leads to some logistical problems. For example: how do you convey to customers that you are actually selling this item, and not that you are announcing a discounted price on, say, the OPEN 24 HOURS signs shelved nearby?

If you look closely at the picture, you’ll see that Costco tried to avoid paradox by putting a “FOR DISPLAY ONLY” sign on the SALE! sign. Or…wait. Or did they? Maybe they’re just selling FOR DISPLAY ONLY signs as well! Or maybe they’re selling SALE! signs with “FOR DISPLAY ONLY” signs already affixed for other retailers who sell SALE signs!

To my mind, Costco’s biggest challenge here is: how would you ever put the SALE! signs themselves on sale? Did I just blow your mind?

Posted by Ken at 10:45 am