When Stores Shout SALE!
Come July and August and customers are on the shopping spree to avail the best deals in town. Bold letters spelling out S-A-L-E are sprawled all over. The same stores which sweat out to create aesthetically beautiful displays all year round, come down to the basic signage at sale time. Read on to find out why.
All stores announce their deals at the store-front itself. They play their brand value card during sale time and footfalls come through with clear communication of discounts and efficient service. “Consumers who shop during sale are value seekers and not much bothered about the aesthetics. Having said that, there is a slow but steady shift towards brands paying enough attention during the Sale period too,” says Ajay Dasari, VM Head, Levi’s, India. The window displays might suggest a lack of VM thought but during EOSS, VM exists in a different guise. Customers want to immediately walk into the store and get their value for money. Competition is at its peak and stores which offer a seamless experience do better than the others. This is where VM comes in and organised in-store display of merchandise works to their benefit. “During sale time, customers are not interested in the aesthetics. At the store front we have to express the deal very clearly without any clutter as that is the attraction factor. Also, during sale manpower is an issue and we need people to focus on in- store service rather than concentrate on creative displays,” says Tejaswini Nigam, VM Head, Pepe Jeans London, India. Most of the people are in the shopping environment just because of the sale. Media tools would have done enough to lure the customer down to the shops. The customers are also influenced to spend their money. They do
not need further convincing to go into shops. “While the approach is not very different from non-promo period, we give more emphasis on clearing the previous season’s merchandise. So, the major focus is on making the merchandise display in a way that it is easier to access and the offers are clear,” says Dasari.
During sales, customers spend a lot of time in store rather than around the mall. There
is a shift in the VM focus. “Regular display is easy to maintain as compared to sale display. There is hardly any stock in full size sets and colour stories are all mixed up. Hence, the only focus is to maintain the look of the store by putting in more efforts,” says Gajpal Rathore, VM Head, Gant & Nautica.
Factors like budget and brand image are also
crucial considerations. “We get about 50% less budget than usual. We need to bring out the best communication methods within that. Large format stores have more man power at hand and a relatively liberal budget. They can afford to spend time and money on aesthetics even during sales,” says Nigam. Talking about brand image, Rathore has contrary views to the norms. He says, “My personal observation is that in India the pressure to cover up revenue targets sidelines all creativity and brand image. One will get all convincing points to move away from brand guidelines and shout sale to attract customers, which actually is a misunderstanding. I think to build up a brand image we have to compromise a bit on short term sales. Many brands are there who have done it and now stand tall in all competitions.”