Retailers have trained us shoppers to only buy when things are on sale. After all, who doesn't like to feel like they got a great deal - and most retailers try to give us what we want by running one sale after another. The feeling of getting a good deal is very compelling. How many times have you complimented someone on their outfit or a piece of jewelry and the answer they give you starts with something like, "Isn't it great and the best thing is that I got it on sale at (insert store name here)", but are you really getting a good deal or is the retailer just creating illusion that you are getting a good deal?
After nine years in retail we've seen and learned a lot... let me share a recent story with you that may make you think about sales a little differently.
A man walked into our store looking to sell a couple of pieces of gold jewelry. The jewelry still had the tags on it and he had a receipt from the purchase that he had made just minutes before walking into our store. The man had returned an expensive watch he had purchased a couple months prior to Kohl's where he bought it. He no longer had the receipt so Kohl's would only give him a store credit for the watch, but this wouldn't help the young man.
You see, the young man was out of work and his wife had just lost her job earlier in the week. He hoped to return the watch and get his money back because they did not have enough money to pay rent at the end of the month. Faced with only getting a store credit, he decided he could buy some gold jewelry that was on sale and then sell the gold to a jeweler. While this seemed like a reasonable idea to him at the time, he didn't understand how a retail business works or the actual value of the gold in the jewelry he was trying to sell. When he walked into our store he was shocked to find out that the value of the gold was a fraction of what he had just paid for the jewelry.
The young man showed me the receipt for a 14K gold, 16" box chain that was only .5mm wide. The price tag on the chain was $225. It was on sale for 60% off so he paid $90. This is a pretty common chain and we had one in stock. Our price for the identical chain was $89 and it was not on sale. That's the price we charge every day. We were able to find a way to help the young man (he called the next day to thank us again and actually brought Karen to tears with his story).
Retailers can operate their businesses in many different ways when it comes to using sales as a marketing tool. At K.Hollis we decided that we didn't like the idea of "marking things up so we could put them on sale" - we just feel this is disingenuous. Instead we want all of our customers to know that we price things fairly every day so that they don't have to wait for a sale or worry about getting a good price or not. We think you should be able to buy what you want when you want to and not worry about something going on sale the day after you buy it. We offer good prices every day and in those rare occasions when a competitor is offering a better price - we match it.
For a retailer, running sales is also expensive and those costs get passed on to customers - there's merchandise to re-tag, planning to be done, signs to print, advertising to buy, display cases to move, and meetings conducted for employees. Avoiding all these additional costs means that our every day prices are usually very similar to the sale prices at other stores - this means that you don't have to wait for a sale.