IRVINE, CA—Painstakingly assembling clues from a series of advertisements rolled out over the course of a month, budget-minded consumer Bruce Brown, 52, declared Tuesday that he had evidence proving a so-called “flash sale” at a local department store had, in fact, been strategized to several weeks in advance. “Contrary to what they would have us believe, there exists concrete evidence that the rush to provide us these savings is not as urgent as hyperactive television ads and newspaper circulars might imply,” said Brown, holding up two ads for a pair of jeans from the store, dated two weeks apart but both with a large red line through the same “regular” price. “Don’t get me wrong. This is still a great deal. But in the face of what we know now, it seems highly implausible that these are drastic and urgent sales. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest there is nothing spontaneous about these savings at all. You might even say this should be called a ‘highly premeditated and meticulously planned effort’ sale. So tell me—why the lies? Why?” Brown has also begun investigating a secondary claim made by the same store that “everything must go.”
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