Dear Marshalls,Marshalls logo

Welcome to Remedial Discount Mathematics. Shall we begin?

Your ads on the eye of hell say that a shopper can save “up to 50%” off of department store prices. As an example, you show a sweater, priced at $40.00 at the department store.

How much is up to 50% of $40.00? That’s right, it’s anything from 0 to $20.00. So if your customers can save up to 50% on that scarf, how much can you charge?

No, if you charge $19.99 they’re saving more than 50%, which is more than “up to 50%”. See, a price of $19.99 represents a discount of $20.01 from the original price of $40.00, and $20.01 is 50.025% of $40.00.

50.025% is actually more than 50%, and “up to 50%” isn’t supposed to go higher than 50%.

Maybe we can get Capt. James T. Negotiator to tutor you. He had a similar problem last year.

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