Re­tail­ers al­ready of­fer­ing bar­gains

North Coast Weekender - - News -

VET­ERAN re­tailer Peter Kam­bouris says WA shop­pers have ev­ery chance to snare a bar­gain now, rather than wait for tra­di­tional Box­ing Day sales.

With Christ­mas just over five weeks away, the man be­hind the Kam­bos chain of elec­tri­cal and white­goods stores says Perth re­tail­ers are in catch-up mode af­ter a quiet past few months.

He said re­tail­ers had felt the full ef­fect of a de­pressed econ­omy in the first quar­ter of the fi­nan­cial year and would do ev­ery­thing to claw back trade through Novem­ber and early De­cem­ber.

“The mar­ket has been that tough that any of­fer be­tween now and Christ­mas is go­ing to be right on the mark,” Mr Kam­bouris said.

“It’s been a quiet two or three months in re­tail so ev­ery­one is in catch-up mode and the ben­e­fit for the con­sumer is they are pay­ing post-Christ­mas prices right now.

“I was wan­der­ing through the city to get a feel for it this week and they had 25, 35, 40 per cent off bathers; it only got hot last week and they’re al­ready dis­count­ing.

“It just shows re­tail’s at an im­me­di­acy, we need sales now.

While gen­uine dis­counts re­main crit­i­cal to win­ning over to­day’s savvy shop­per, Mr Kam­bouris said re­tail­ers also needed to of­fer some­thing ex­tra – like demon­stra­tions – to bring cus­tomers in store.

“When I first started in the in­dus­try 30-odd years ago, we were at the Royal Show, the Perth Home Elec­tronic Show and Perth home shows,” he said.

“Our in­dus­try is get­ting back to that be­cause peo­ple are sub­con­sciously say­ing, ‘why would I come to your store when I can just buy it on the in­ter­net?’.”

In his own chain, Mr Kam­bouris has had suc­cess this year with carpark sales and his Joon­dalup ware­house will host its first this week­end, a three-day sale start­ing Fri­day.

“What con­sumers are look­ing for are events, com­bin­ing a so­cial and bar­gain-hunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“They seem to be re­spond­ing to things like carpark sales or event sales where there’s some­thing to eat, there’s some­thing to drink, there’s things to see and they can snare a bar­gain at the same time.”

Mr Kam­bouris is con­fi­dent Christ­mas will be a good time for re­tail­ers as well as bar­gain hunters.

“I think peo­ple are start­ing to pull their heads in, we’re be­com­ing a lot more prac­ti­cal,” he said.

“Par­tic­u­larly peo­ple who usu­ally buy your wife or your girl­friend things like per­fume or flow­ers and din­ners.

“I think the pub­lic is go­ing to be a lit­tle bit more re­spon­si­ble this year and per­haps say, re­ally we need a to use that money for a new TV or air­con­di­tion­ing.”

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