Forget Deep Discounts- Increase Retail Sales by Heading to Prison!

Retailers have a hard go of it over the past 18 months, what with the global recession and the recent decline of the Euro which has reduced foreign travel and stateside sales.  Many have had to severely reduce inventory, offer major discounts and count on RTV’s to offset the cost of items that do not sell.  Even with all of this, some retailers just cannot make it and are forced to close their doors to commerce.  It got me thinking, isn’t there another way? Another avenue to promote and garner attention and drive sales?  Then I realized there is. It’s called the Big House- that’s right, JAIL.

Last week, it was announced that Lindsay Lohan’s legging line 6126 had experienced increased sales after being sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation (poor thing, is it her fault the ankle monitor went off is someone spilled a drink on it?).

Poor Lindsay, what a pity to actually have to pay for her mistakes while bringing in an increase of cash by profiting from top of mind share and proving that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’.  Maybe SJP’s Bitten and Mandy Moore’s Mblem lines for Steve & Barry’s would have been a tad more successful if either had committed a little felony and head to Rikers for a month of baloney sandwiches and oranges.

This theory also proves true in the case of Ms. Nicole Richie. Sent to jail for 4 days (poor thing) for a traffic violation in 2007, she hightailed it out of the orange jumpsuit, hooked up with the Madden boy and launched House of Harlow. I challenge someone to disagree that the immense media attention preceding and  following the court case didn’t increase awareness of her jewelry collection.

One last exhibit of this theory is Mr. Steve Madden.  After being sentenced to 40+ months of manipulating IPO’s, his trendy shoe brand reaped the benefits of renewed media attention.  Honestly, when did you ever see Steve in the pages of People prior to being convicted on felony charges?

Finally, if you need further convincing, might I suggest you take a look at the Rosen report, “Learning and Experience in the Labor Market.” Written in 1972 by Sherwin Rosen, the report basically argues that there are numerous benefits to undesirable and low-paying jobs that will come in handy in the future.  Essentially, the thesis is that jail is a just another stop on the path to wealth and extended fame- or rather infamy- for the rich and famous.

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