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.”

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