Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shoppers cling to frugality

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 11:05 AM

I wouldn't want to be a shop owner right now. The only way they can get people to buy anything is to discount their merchandise by like, 70 percent off. And that's in-season stuff.

The penchant for percentages off rather than specific prices or promotions can be attributed to the continuing weak retail climate, said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive and chief shopper at WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting company in New York.

“We’ve gotten to a point where the specific price isn’t bold enough or specific enough” to be noticed, Ms. Liebmann said.

“The magnitude of the crisis has created this sales vernacular where people are saying, ‘If I’m not getting 50 percent off, I’m not even getting off the couch,’ ” she added, “ ‘but 70 or 80 percent off gets my attention.’ ”

In recent visits to stores, Ms. Liebmann said, she noticed that if there was “nothing on sale,” there was “nobody in the store.”

“Everyone’s just waiting,” she added.

Read the rest of this New York Times article here.

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