I had a discussion with a BCF manager about the pricing. He said the shoes arrives already priced and they place them on the shelf. He said they did not make any decision to mark the shoes down further for a close out. This instruction comes from the corporate office. Corporate will send an order once per month, give a SKU number and any new prices. He said this is more likely to be a seasonal decision. Sandles, for example, will not sell well in winter and would be reduced. Year round styles would not. Finally, he said the only price reduction decisions on merchandise made at the local level is on damaged products.
The decision probably does come down from Corporate to reduce prices—but having shopped there regularly for AEs since late last year, the pattern is pretty clear—after a certain amount of time, usually about 30 days or so, the price on the AEs will dip a bit. As they're the highest priced shoes at BCF (Outside of the odd, small, but awesome Ferragamo or Antonio Maurizi gets) they get dropped—not the cheap Madden and awful Stacy Adams corrected grain stuff. The Schautals came in around December, lingered on the racks until early August and then ALL got pulled—right around the time they'd have been properly “in season”. My Sanibels, Sands', and Big Surs were undamaged firsts and I saw the prices drop—respectively on the Sanibels from $119.00 to $99.00 to $69.00, on the Sands' from $99.00 to $79.00 and from $139.00 to $99.00 to $69.00 on the Big Surs. Those reductions may well have come from home office to move the inventory based on SKU checks on what remained on the shelves. In my talks with two managers at two of the NYC stores, they alluded to more local flexibility on the pricing based on new inventory waiting to be stocked vs. what's been languishing on the shelves—especially once the stuff crosses certain threshold time-wise.
What you say is pretty much so, but based on what I've been told, with the more expensive stuff (like AE shoes) that doesn't move as fast, they have some secondary moves they can make to move it out faster—or as in the case of the Schautals, just pull 'em and send 'em someplace else to be sold to clear rack space.