You have a good eye.
I just looked at the archived website copies for Allen Edmonds, and it appears the old price for Park Avenues from about that time were hovering around $325 to $335 . . . which may have accounted for the Nordstrom of $199 to $211. Although the sale price this year may be $229, the difference of $29 may be the hard cash difference of the retail shoe going up to $345.
I also just looked at the price stickers on AE boxes for my 1999 versions of the Safford . . and was amazed to find them at $99 a pair (which may have been seconds back then.
Either way a 35% discount on firsts in selected styles for any color and any size is still a bargain these days.
Another site for firsts in limited sizes and colors in selected styles is www.6pm.com - with up to over 40% off!