Willpower or €1.50? The allure of Penneys

Ever strolled into the institution that is Penneys seeking to purchase bobby pins at a reasonable price but leaving with an award-winning new wardrobe? This is indisputably the story of my life…

It is a test of wits to walk through the automatic doors into the ‘Atmosphere’ of a well-loved retailer such as this. Who couldn’t resist jewellery for €1.50?

Now, with the addition of the P.S. Love beauty range, I find myself spending what seems like an eternity in this abyss of cheap as chips false eyelashes and bargain cosmetics. (Did someone say MAC DUPE?)

Don’t get me started on the underwear section…I mean €3 bras and €1.50 knickers to match, how could one resist such a wonderful proposition? Who needs Victoria’s Secret when Secret Possessions does it better?

We’ve all bypassed the sock section only to realise that seven pairs of socks for €3 are a recession-busting necessity, sure that’s a pair for every day of the week for less than the price of a 3-in-1.


Then there’s the whole ‘Primarni’ trend. For those of you otherwise unaware (and living under a rock), this is when Primark and Penneys take on trends showcased by pricier clothing brands on the runway to provide us with pretty pieces which are kind to our bank balance.

Is St. Moriz a party destination in France? Their sunshine in a bottle has left of all bronzed and ready to party at some point in our lives. You may smell like the post-night out meal, but you’ll look like you’ve just flown in from the Canary Islands.

It’s as if those bright red reduction signs guide my way through the shop and I can rarely dodge the rails holding treasures a bargainista such as I can only dream of. A sale on already low prices? You have got to be joking me. What is this sorcery?

Who actually sets foot in Penneys brandishing the absolute joke that is the mini basket… it’s always full within minutes. Even if I, for a brief moment, convince myself that I’ll just buy the charming and cheap statement necklace, I still choose the larger, more accommodating basket over it’s terribly tiny counterpart. (Perhaps this leads to my inevitable downfall…)

I can wholeheartedly admit to sprinting towards the coveted €1 stand when the unsuspecting sales assistant attempts to discretely place it amongst full-price stock on the shop floor. Scenes of hyenas feasting on prey are often seen at this point, where people grab as much as they can, before discarding duplicates and unwanted items nearby.


The absolute joy when someone asks where you bought an item of clothing or accessory and you can’t help but reply ‘thanks, Penneys’, or boast that you are queen of the bargains to your peers after brandishing a handbag you promptly purchased for €1. Why did you ever pay the full price for items in the first place? Sure it’s like a whole new world packed with reduced retail opportunities.

You leave the shop with most of the stock, a new wardrobe and your bank balance has mysteriously vanished, most likely forgetting what you came for…what was it again? Oh yeah, bobby pins This leads to another trip to Penneys and the vicious cycle continues.

By Áine Marie Monk

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