Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Message to retailers: Be creative

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

According to an article on MSNBC.com, retailers are taking a "business as usual" approach to the upcoming holiday shopping season. People, wise up. Money is tight, jobs have been lost, and it's definitely not going to be "business as usual" unless you plan accordingly. And when I say plan accordingly, I don't mean put everything on sale so you don't make any profit. By all means, do what you have to do to make your money, but be ingenious about how you're going to get people in the door and offer products that are "must-have."

At a time when even people who do have money are hesitant to spend it, many retailers and product manufacturers also have been unable or unwilling to risk developing a new and exciting product that could become a big breakthrough — or a huge flop.

Instead many stores seem to be focusing on safe bets and traditional gifts like scarves or board games, Cohen said. That raises the concern that there will be another season with few if any “must-have” items that leave consumers clamoring at store windows and pushing frantically through the aisles.

“They’ve basically bored customers to death,” Cohen said. “Going into this holiday season, what does the consumer have to have? Nothing.”

If struggling retailers — and the companies that make their merchandise — can’t find a way to appeal to consumers, that could have a ripple effect on the U.S. economy, which is heavily reliant on consumer spending and also is struggling to regain its footing.

Read the full article here.

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