It used to be true that this was the time for retailers to "make their year", gouge the prices if the need be, and reap the benefits of a healthy holiday buying season. Such is no longer the case, as major retailers, little guys like me, and everyone in between have had to offer, unheard of at this time, discounts to get consumers into their retail establishments. Open up your mail box or your email box and you will see what I mean. There were no less than 15 offers of 20% or more off at major retailers like JCrew, Bloomingdales, Saks, Barneys New York, etc in my email box from the time I got dressed to go to work and the time I got to work, (no more than an hour) leaving me to wonder, how do I compete?
The facts are what they are and it's a fact that discounts bring in the shoppers. Which means I must offer the customer great customer service AND a substantial discount. Will this effect my bottom line? Yes, but it won't kill me and it certainly won't hurt to build that ever important customer relationship. Gone are the days of excessive shopping, as they are a thing of the past. Even the shoppers who CAN afford to binge, simply are not. They too, appreciate a discounted price for goods. Another sure sign that the climate has changed; Nieman Marcus offered 25% off everything in the COSMETICS department last week-this is unprecedented. It has always been a rule that any discount coupon from a major retailer did NOT apply to cosmetics. It was right there in the fine print, and any savvy shopper knew it. Hence the new order of the retail business.
While forecasts for retail over all show spending to be up, I wonder how up if the majority of goods were sold at a discounted price point. Take moment to think about the discounted offers you have received in the past week and post them in the comments section. I'm guessing there are more than you can even remember. Let me know if it motivated you to go to the store, buy more, or think about checking out that store because you hadn't been there in a while. Then let me know if you intend to be on a spending spree this holiday season.
Your fellow little guy would appreciate it.