Why is it called a White Sale?

Why is it called a White Sale?

What do you think of when you think of January? Fresh starts, cold days, diet plans? At Thomas Lee Sheets, January means snowflakes, resolutions, percale sheets, and the White Sale! We take down the Christmas tree, vacuum up the last of the pine needs, relax for a moment, and then we organize. Tidy up, clean out, pare down! Our linen closet is high on the priority list thanks to the January White Sale.

The Beginning of a Tradition

You probably haven't given much thought to the origin of the White Sale. White Sales date back to the 1800s with John Wanamaker, a philanthropist, and marketing genius. After opening John Wanamaker & Company in 1875, he became well known and respected for his truth in advertising, money-back guarantee, and the White Sale. Wanamaker was one of the first to create a shopping experience, catering to the affluent with high-end merchandise. He installed electric lighting, elevators, and even a restaurant in his department store. It's said Wanamaker the inventor of the price tag, and we have him to thank for sale information first appearing in print ads.

In 1878, after robust holiday sales, Wanamaker coined the phrase "White Sale" to entice the continued spending on bed linens, which were only available at that time in white. Many think that he did this so the mills producing the linens would stay in business and avoid lay-offs, but Wanamaker was also aware his customers were clearing out and cleaning up to begin the new year. He offered deep discounts on hotel quality bedding and sheets, and his patrons loved it. Thus, the White Sale was born!.

Expanding the Trend

After World War 2, consumers wanted to feel happy and put the hardships of war behind them. People were enjoying life, and homeownership was at its peak. By the early 1950s, color was everywhere, including on the bed and in the kitchen. Consumers wanted bright, colorful items and began looking at bedspreads, comforters, and blankets to complete their decor. Many were switching from all-cotton to synthetics or blends because of their easy care. But even with the change in consumer demand, the White Sale continued, becoming all-inclusive of colors, prints, and fabric choices. As the choices in linens evolved, so did the kitchen, bedroom, and bath essentials. Soon, retailers began to include other items in their white sale offerings so that the consumer could acquire an entire ensemble of coordinated items. White sales began to offer discounts on pillows, rugs, placemats, curtains, and napkins. 

Why Does Thomas Lee Only Offer White Percale Sheets and Ivory Percale Sheets?

Colored sheets mean heavy dyes, which reduce the absorbency and breathability of the fabric. Printed sheets are worse, using print paste and then a harsh resin to finish the sheets and set the pattern. The use of these resins results in a rougher, less comfortable sheet, and weaker sheeting fabric. The most comfortable, luxurious sheets are pure finished without heavy dyes, pastes, or resin - like Thomas Lee's luxury percale sheets!

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