Retail stores love to complain that they’re not making money. It’s especially true around the holidays. What was the last post-Black Friday story that didn’t begin with, “sales failed to meet expectations?” It’s always the economy’s fault, or a war, or a good movie season, or some such.
I would like to suggest that part of the reason why department stores and the like aren’t maximizing their profits is because they’re locked into bad sales models. It’s not OUR fault that they do dumb things, but we’ll take advantage of it.
It’s January 26th today. It’s turned bitterly cold here in the Northeast for the first time this winter. Up until now, it’s been relatively mild with a couple of cold days here and there. We had our first real snowfall this week, and even that was only an inch or two.
Many of the clothing stores have their winter clothes on sale at large discounts to move them out so they can put their spring clothes out soon.
So let’s consider the logic here: Sell warm clothes at full price in moderate weather. Discount the warm clothes wildly when the temperature drops and people will want them the most.
Shouldn’t that be the other way around?
Don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed buying those long-sleeved shirts this week for half the price. They’re going to come in handy in the weeks ahead. But I don’t want to hear those stores complaining that we’re not buying anything from them. We are — but only when they start acting stupid and we can take advantage of them. I’m not buying jackets at full price when it’s warm out.
I also think they should consider NOT putting the Valentine’s Day candy out on January 1st, too. All of that stuff will move quickly at the end of January/beginning of February. Until then, it’s just laying there — a sea of red stuff gathering dust on shelves.
But this just may be me. I enjoy buying my calendars on January 1st for 50% off. Because, you know, calendars are only worth half as much when there’s only 364 days left in the year to use them.