What could be more fun than taking your kids post-holiday shopping? We dragged them to the Alamonte Mall in Central Florida yesterday to teach them a lesson about the power of advertising — or the lack thereof.

Let’s start with the sign that made almost no one want to enter the story. You call that a sale? I guess they have the added benefit of being an anchor store in Altamonte, which means people will go there, regardless.

But still.

Wow, 20 percent? Cheapskates. Even the big sign fails to lure us in.

Why bother with meaningless percentages? What you really want is a happier you. Yeah, we could go for that.

When in doubt, just confuse your customers. They will come into the store to ask for clarification. Or maybe not.

 

Now we’re talking. But kids, mind the “up to” and ask yourself: What merchandise does it apply to?

What? No need to buy anything? That’ll do it.

Our favorite sign of the afternoon. Mutilate yourself for a discount. (Keep my daughter away from that store!)

We didn’t buy anything from these stores, but the lessons learned from them were invaluable. (Mom has an MBA and dad is a consumer advocate, so you can imagine the explanations that went along with this visit to one of America’s high temples of commerce.)