High end retailer Saks Fifth Avenue has launched a new campaign in an attempt to stand out from is competitors this coming holiday season. Yet its goal is not to boast the best bargains or the highest discounts to its clientele, rather a lack thereof. The high end retail chain has adopted a new selling technique that involves promoting full price values and embracing the quality of luxury, one that is surprising many in the industry. Last year following the Wall Street crises, it was Saks who spearheaded the deep discount movement that all retail chains were forced succumb to. It slashed 40 percent across the stores mere weeks after the word "recession" was first spoken, and holiday discounts climbed as high as 80 percent, causing some to wonder if the Saks name would even survive into this year.
Saks prevailed, weathering its fair share of losses, but has seemingly decided to change its tune for the steadily approaching holiday 2009. According to the New York Post, CEO Steve Sadove has already begun a campaign intended to lure back wealthy customers who who have tired from the year long bargain mania. "If you want to get it in your size, you're going to have to buy it,"
Sadove noted on a conference call this month. "I think we are
starting to create that mentality again." Sadove and other executives for Saks have even been paying a surprising number of visits to
personal visits to fashion labels' offices and showrooms, promoting a
return to a "full-price mentality" that emphasizes fewer items at a
higher level of quality, as one source put it. They're out there preaching the gospel of full prices and no markdowns," said the source, an apparel executive.
But so far Saks' competitors aren't jumping on the full-price bandwagon just yet. In fact, they seem just fine with sticking to their own sales strategies. All summer long, Saks competitor Neiman Marcus has been finely tuning its selling techniques which involved exclusive shopping events, usually during the week on its website, where customers only had several hours to enjoy significant savings. This model of "mid-day dash" savings mimics now popular e-commerce sites like Gilt Groupe and to supply the events, Neiman Marcus has been paying vendors
significantly higher prices for end-of-season inventory, apparel
executives say. Macy's owned chain Bloomingdale's has been known to steal customers from both Saks and Neiman's with its inventory of lower-priced contemporary brands. Now some sources are saying many of those brands have pulled away from Bloomingdale's, due to disputes over clearance events, which Bloomingdale's typically stages on a weekly basis. The store, however, insists "This year's promotional calendar is the same as it has been in recent years." So the discounting will seemingly continue for Bloomingdale's, and seemingly most other chains, through the holidays and into next year. Whichever holiday season strategy is more likely to pay off, full price pushing vs. sustaining sizeable discounts, still remains to be seen.
Article Source: The New York Post
Photo Source: newscenter.philips.com
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