The best time of the year. Apparently! which is now every third month of the year.
But I really wonder!!
Is sale season really exciting like before? Do consumers wait for sale season to buy all the desired products then? Are the retail companies watching profit due to sale? Are the companies really slashing their product price during sale for the benefit of the customers? Is retail really booming due to sale?
The answer to all the above questions is NO.
Neither is the sale exciting for customers now nor is it doing any benefit to retail industry. Infact, the reason that we are having sale season every second or third month of the year is because the retail market is suffering major loss. Talking of apparels, fabrics, furniture, jewellery, watches, IT and other retail related industries all of them have suffered a huge loss with the entry of e-commerce business. Infact, many of the brands like mi are doing online business only. They have taken a decision of not entering retail market.
Sale season is for a boost in sales for every company and also for the mall that they are in. It is not only a challenge to companies to sell their products but also a challenge for the mall management to engage with the customers and ensure maximum footfalls in the mall. Because of such chanllenge we have offers like, flat 50% sale in the entire mall.
This really is an attractive offer but, do customers really get attracted and visit the malls on such days.
If we look at the facts, then yes people go to malls at such offer period and malls do get thousands of footfalls. The mall does get benefitted by no. of parking tickets sold and the advertisement spaces sold to the brands all around in the mall. But do the brands really benefit by such promotion?
Well, I happened to visit a mall in Mumbai that offered a flat 50% offer in the entire mall. At first I was reluctant to go thinking of the crowd and the pushing and pulling in the stores, but then I decided to go and check out few things for myself. As some of the brands like M&S, Baggit, Vero Moda, AND, Body Shop were also giving flat or upto 50% discount.
It was not just the promotion by the mall every individual brand took the effort of inviting their customers through SMS, Mails, Radio Ads and Newspaper ads.
Well, like the others even I was excited about the sale and made a list of the things I wanted to buy; bags, shoes, shirts, jackets, watch and fashion jewellery. Excitedly, I went to the mall with a friend and wanted to celebrate Girl’s shopping day out!!
We thought that the entering the mall would be a night mare, but to our surprise it was a piece of cake. Then we thought of checking out apparels first, without any pushing and snatching we could easily explore the merchandise. In fact, waiting time in the queue for changing room was really less. I felt I really didn’t feel so relaxed ever to shop during sale.
We both went together to almost all the shops in the mall and what did we buy? A face pack from forest essentials and a top from Lifestyle That’s it!!
After almost five hours of roaming around in get mall we bought only two things. And to tell you truly, they both were non-sale items.
I looked around the mall was not crowded like once it used to be during sale season. Infact many stores were empty or having hardly one or two customers.
Talking about the merchandise and how the SIS retail outlets were, they didn’t seem like large format stores in huge fancy malls, instead they seemed like street shopping stalls in Linking Road, Bandra. The merchandise was just dumped over counters at different sections and made it unpleasing for me to dig for clothes from that lot. The sight itself was horrifying. When I searched for clothes hung on the racks, I fairly concluded that those were very old clothes seeing at he condition of the clothes. Also most of the sale items were not even as per the latest fashion or design. It was majorly about dead fashion!! Some of the clothes were even had holes and we’re torn. Many of them could be used as a mop in Indian homes.
Then I saw few counters that were really well kept and was unvisited even by a single mosquito. I was close to explore the counter and there I saw the board saying “NEW ARRIVALS”. Well, it really didn’t make sense to come for shopping on a main sale day and buy from fresh items. However, I decided to check them out since nothing in sale was as per my taste. The merchandise at the new arrivals were as per the latest fashion trend and were kept in proper condition. So I picked up a top and bought it 🙃
Then we went store to store from brands to brands looking out for something worth buying, but the experience was quite disappointing.
Even the price of merchandise in sale seemed inflated and maybe were being sold on their actual MRP.
The sale season was really not offering sale!! Infact, it was not just us but when I looked around I could see tired and disappointed faces. In my earlier shipping experience in saw season, I could see people carrying 10-20 pair of clothes and standing in trial room queue for around 45 min to an hour. But this time, I could see women looking around for something, carrying only 2-4 clothes for trial.. Quite shocking Indeed!
Such an unexpected change of response towards sale have certainly taken the retail industry down. In future, the brand will have to think seriously about giving fair discounts in sale and to give proper merchandise too. The customers are no longer inclined towards touch and feel concept if they are getting same thing at better price through electronic mediums sitting at home.