November 20, 2016

Beware the Smoke and Mirrors Sale


Beware the sale

It’s coming up to that time again; the January Sale which will be a make or break time for many retailers. The turnover and profit from a good January is what keeps them going through the leaner months of February and March. It is also when a few struggling retailers may bite the dust.

A commercial tenant is often required to pay their quarterly rent by the start of February, a tradition going way back to the middle ages. A tough January Sale could mean a payment missed. Fortunately January sale isn’t a critical time for BoConcept. Our core customer isn’t out battling the crowds for dodgy deals.


Bargains Galore?

It will appear there are bargains galore at sale time. But are they really bargains?  In a previous life I was employed as Merchandise manager with Reid Furniture. Part of the role was to make sure that any item in the Boxing Day Sale had been doubled in price for at least 28 days in the previous 6 months. This made it possible to claim 50% off.

Another tactic was to compare to a higher ‘after sale price’. The logic was that the item would go up to a full price after the sale offer ended. Sounds fair but these items were usually brought in for the sale and sold at a normal profit margin while promoting 50% off. The item was then discontinued and never sold at the higher price.

All legal but misleading at the same time.

One of the features of the BoConcept brand was that we don’t get involved in this kind of thing. We publish an annual Design catalogue with our normal retail prices. BoConcept in Denmark will occasionally support an offer of some sort so this means any offer is an actual discount


How to Buy?

My advice is simple, if you are considering a high ticket item showing a reduction, ask about the history of the higher price and ask why it is reduced. Most sales people won’t be able to tell you or more likely won’t want to tell you.

Adam Davidson
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