Retailers already offering bargains
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.”