Suzanne O’Connor’s Bargains LA

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Excessive Hype

By Suzanne O'Connor

If you haven’t read it or heard about it yet, 2017 was a brutal year for retail.  Many once strong stores are now struggling with some closing or downsizing. Online competition is fierce. Brick and mortar competition is fierce.  Retail is a really a fierce, do or die business that is not for the weak kneed.

So retailers and brands are always looking for ways to standout in a very competitive environment.

A drive down Melrose this week had me able to scan the store fronts. Each trying to set itself apart from the other is coolness, aloof snobbery or urban trendiness.  It was areal study in presentation and marketing. Everything presented is either over hyped … or too cool for you.

I see over hype in the Off Price / Discount market place too. A recent visit to a discount store had signs that claimed they were 80-90% off retail. I had to wonder if they graduated high school.  Basic math had the discounts at 20-50% off.  Not as steep a discount, but still a deal. Why the over excessive exaggeration?

It’s to get you amped up to buy! It’s about creating urgency. Getting you excited to shop, playing on your instinct to save.  I get it. But unnecessary hype, is actually a lie. If you don’t stop and think, you’ll get sucked in.

Much of retail pricing is about hype. If you have a good understanding of retail markup, which averages 2-3 times cost, you’ll get it when something is markdown and has value.

But MSRP doesn’t mean an item ever sold at that price. It’s a suggested price based on marketing their brand. The term is often used to make the shopper feel they are getting a better value than they actually are.

It’s all marketing hype in their “do or die” world.  Stop and think before you spend. Is it really worth the hype and the price?

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