updated 09:30 pm EST, Fri December 2, 2011
Repeat of stunt from last year, says tipster
Clothing and accessories discounter TJ Maxx may be planning a repeat of a publicity stunt from last year, where it sold iPads at a $100 discount in extremely limited quantities as a "door buster" type promotion. A tipster to The Verge says the chain will put the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 on sale tomorrow (December 3rd) for $399, $100 off. The report also said that stores would be limited to 15 units on hand, and that perhaps not all stores would be getting stock.
TJ Maxx made headlines when it offered the original iPad for sale at such a steep discount last year, with stores in Florida and New Jersey reporting large quantities of stock but other stores having little or none to sell. The company may be using the iPads, an item it does not normally sell, as a "loss leader" to drive Christmas shoppers in. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a rare direct comment last year to a questioner when asked about the sale, saying TJ Maxx was not an authorized reseller.
The fact that TJ Maxx did not get its stock of iPads from Apple raised questions at the time about where the stock had come from. Many speculated that last year's event was the result of a cancelled order from Costco, which had a falling-out with Apple over discounting Apple merchandise online and may have abruptly ended a plan to launch iPads at Costco stores. Costco later went on to drop all Apple products, even iTunes gift cards.
There has been no word so far if TJ Maxx's sister store Marshall's will also offer the current iPad 2's tomorrow as they did last year. The picture below is from TJ Maxx's sale last year. [via The Verge, photo by Engadget]