Sign of the Times. Full Price May Be a Thing of the Past

January 14, 2009 • Fashion


Looks like we are getting spoiled. Kiss full price goodbye, the world is our discount store.

With deep holiday discounts extending
into January, shoppers battered by the recession aren’t likely to buy
much at full price for spring and maybe ever, particularly when they have been conditioned to
find lower-cost alternatives and equivalents.

According to WWD, the bottom line is that fashion consumers are reevaluating what they think goods are worth. Unless they’re hooked by a discount or a
significant value — something well made and well priced — many shoppers may chose to stay on the sidelines for much of the year.

Belladora 3
In this environment, a growing group of shoppers is more willing to
spend $30 or $40 for a polo shirt from Lands’ End or L.L. Bean than,
say, part with $80 for a Lacoste polo or with $100 for a polo shirt
from Ralph Lauren.

“We are
watching the evisceration of the concept of value,” retail
anthropologist Paco Underhill said.
“The only thing people will pay full price for again are crafts: unique
artisan products. No one understands the concept of full price anymore.
We are addicted to the sales.”

Items on the short full-price
hot list envisioned by Michael Silverstein, a seniorVase
partner at Boston
Consulting Group and author of “Trading Up,” include must-have watches,
special jewelry pieces and the relatively few hot cars. Nonetheless,
Silverstein said, “My guess is consumers will buy very little at full
retail price for 2009. This holiday season, consumers learned if they
hold their breath, the prices will drop.”

“People want to wear as a badge of honor — a sense of
themselves as being wise by saving money,” said Robert Passikoff,
president of Brand Keys research consultancy. “But a greater reckoning
is coming," alluding to the likelihood of lower initial
price markups.

Read "The Demise of Full Price" here.

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