19 December 2008

Beware the discounts of Christmas past


Most years in KBB-Land this would be the lull before the post-Christmas storm.

I’ve long regarded the Christmas dinner as one of the main motivators of new kitchen sales as it puts the existing kitchen under a strain that shows up all its shortcomings.

With 2009 gearing up to be the ‘Year of the Grudge Purchase’, be prepared to see a little bounce in business once the turkey has been burned and the roast potatoes dropped on the kitchen floor.

The temptation to offer large discounts in order to capture this extra business, but take heed. We have just seen the crash of MFI who were experts at offering ‘large discounts’ to win orders. Cutting prices didn’t do them a lot of good.

And then there is Trade Depot. Not only did it offer to beat any quote going, it advertised complete bathroom suites for £149.

£149?!! Where’s the freakin’ profit in a £149 bathroom suite? A decent tap costs more than that for crying out loud!

It’s easy to assume that a ‘Grudge Purchaser’ is looking for a cheap-as-chips deal. But what the majority are looking for is reassurance that their money is being spent wisely and that the purchase will be hassle-free.

Discounts will always look attractive of course – and it is interesting to see that Magnet is already advertising a 50%-off kitchen sale due to kick-off on Boxing Day – but how many ‘special’ offers stand the scrutiny of being boiled down to their bottom line price?

Make no mistake, the year ahead will be a tough one and the majority of customers will drive a hard bargain.

Just make sure they don’t drive you onto the rocks.

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