The biggest cliche in retail is the Christmas Deals Advent Calendar. One deal per day, in the run-up to the big Two Five. Everyone's done it, everyone's felt distinctly grubby and uninspired doing it, everyone's vowed never to do it again when the results turn out to be - as one might expect - utterly rubbish.
So, if it's a desperately unoriginal strategy at Christmas, how bewilderingly drab an idea is it in April?
We'll be honest. When we first noticed this on Monday (a lukewarm 20% off a high-end iPod dock), we thought it was an April Fool. Sadly, now that we've had three consecutive days of so-so deals, we're pretty much convinced they're for reals. Which is more than a little depressing.
The thing is, John Lewis can do so much better than this. It's a brand with a second-to-none heritage for giving its customers what they want when they want it, not piecemealing out its deals, one per day, like Mr Scrooge dishing out the brussel sprouts (hey, if they're using Christmas-style campaigns in April, we're using Christmas-style similes). So, where's the community interaction? Where's the collaborative consumption? Where's the social element, the innovation, the dynamism? Hell,