Retailers woo customers with heavy discounts

Thursday, 03 February 2011
Retailers woo customers with heavy discountsWith the major festival season in India behind us and winter almost towards the end, most retailers and hyperstores are wooing consumers with hefty discounts of almost 50 per cent off. The long festive season that began with Dussera in October ended with Sankranthi in January. And then there was Repcublic Day, being a national holiday retailers offer heavy discounts to lure customers to their stores for that one day. Of course, consumers too are making the most of the deep discounts that are on offer. From top global brands to our very own desi ones everyone has an eye on the consumer?s pocket and is vying with each other to offer heavy discounts to clear their shelves. One can literally hop, and shop till they run out of funds. What attracts the buyer is that the sale offers a great chance to upgrade their wardrobes with the trendiest clothing at everyday pries.

Retailers woo customers with heavy discounts Take Gini & Jony for example their ?End of Season Sale? across India started on January 12th. On offer was a flat 40 per cent discount on purchases of Rs 5,000, and 30 per cent on purchases of Rs 2,500. Similarly, French Connection UK (FCUK), the edgy and attitudinal British high street fashion brand, is offering end of season sale at its outlets in Mumbai, New Delhi, NCR, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Pune.  Stephens Brothers London the ?Impeccably English? clothing brand announced its ?End of Season Sale? of up to 50 per cent  off on all garments and accessories, at all stores across the country. Similarly, Splash the high street fashion brand from the Dubai-based Landmark Group is offering 60 per cent off and a chance to win an all expense paid trip to Dubai. Pantaloon, Benetton, Lilliput, Cantabil are some of the many other brands who are offering great discounts in their stores.

In fact, practically every retailer and large-format stores and malls have banners and cut-outs announcing hefty discounts. Perhaps what they are banking on is even if the customer does not have any purchase in mind, they will be literally drawn to the store with these offers.

As Venkateswar Kumar, Business Head - South, Future Value Retail explains that there are two objectives of such initiatives. One, this helps most to clear their shelves and launch new merchandise for the forthcoming season. The other is to generate interest. For example, Big Bazaar initiated this a few years ago. Apart from textiles, the aggressive pricing for products that are upgrades, such as flat panel TVs and LCDs, is something a buyer would not ignore. This initiative helps convert many people into shoppers.

Ashutosh Chakradeo, Head - Buying and Merchandising, Hypercity Retail, is of the view that since organised retail has low penetration in the country, such events attract new customers. These seasonal sale initiatives are planned well ahead by most companies. In fact, even Independence Day and Republic Day are now being leveraged to attract buyers during holidays. A lot of research goes into the pricing of products during the sale season. Feedback from potential customers is taken about what they want to buy. Accordingly, the sale is customised to suit those needs.