Declining department store traffic has compelled mall anchors to make some unprecedented moves to draw customers. Recently two major department store retailers have begun discounting in an area typically off-limits for price drops.

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have begun to drop prices on makeup and cosmetics, an area that CNBC reports is rarely involved in promotional sales, store-wide or otherwise. Macy’s has begun to offer a general discount for the products and Bloomingdale’s has offered a loyalty discount both online and in-store for the entire year. Analysts quoted in the article note that dropping prices in a category, then later raising them back to normal, is a strategy that is rarely effective.

The makeup counter remains one of the biggest draws in the otherwise battered category of department store retail. Cosmetics retailer Sephora has been a…