Are discount events like Black Friday really a good thing? Or do some customers pay an inflated full price to support heavy discounts?
At A Hume we regularly discuss discounting, in-season sales and hot topics like Black Friday. What is the right approach for our business?
There’s enormous pressure on retailers to have in-season sales. To follow the Black Friday trend. But is a world of flash sales and secret codes really fair to customers? You begin to wonder how much is actually sold at the real price. Is there even a real price? Or is the real price just the highest point on a sales graph?
What if it turns out that there is no real price based on the value of the product? That the full price is just one of the price points the retailer is prepared to sell at. The most expensive price, the one that supports the discounts offered to other customers? Instead of being priced fairly the price of a product is based on a target to be reached, and nobody cares who pays full price, and who pays sale. So long as the bottom line is achieved.
Suddenly discounting begins to look like less of a good deal. Certainly for the customers who for whatever reason can’t wait for the flash sales, or the discount codes. Maybe it’s their daughter’s birthday. Or they have an event coming up.
At this point the discount pricing model begins to look less fair. That’s why A Hume choose to be different. To be fair.
We know how it feels to buy something then get a discount code the next week. It’s crushing. It’s maddening. It makes you feel like a complete fool. And it’s very, very unfair.
The discount pricing model might work for faceless high street retailers. But not for A Hume. We can’t in good conscience talk to our customers on the phone, meet them in the street or accept their online orders if we price this way.
Value for Money
Instead we price according to value. The value of the product and the value of the service that delivers the product.
When we select our new season collections we start by looking at where and how each of the brands source their materials for production. Whether it’s a local company or one of our hand-picked brands from further afield.
We look at the material, the level of attention to detail, the cut, styling and the craftsmanship. Our business is built upon uncompromising standards. We are firm believers that you get what you pay for. So, at A Hume we make sure that everything we sell is of the very highest quality.
Clearly the quality of the product is not the only consideration. We aim to give every one of our customers the same quality and personalised service whether they buy online or in one of our shops.
Our efforts have won us awards and esteem nationally, from fashion industry bible Drapers Magazine, The Herald Family Business Awards and locally from the Scottish Borders Business Awards. But more importantly our commitment to the very highest standards of quality product and customer service have won us the loyalty of tens of thousands of customers all over the world.
We won’t disrespect this loyalty by distributing select discount codes and announcing flash sales. Or adopting a pricing model where the full price is potentially inflated to reflect the discounts we intend to release.
Real Sales and Real Savings
At A Hume our prices reflect the quality and value of the product, and the quality and value of the customer service. We set our prices and we stick to them.
When we have our sales – and we do have them. They are proper sales. A post-Christmas sale and an end of season Summer sale. They are heavily promoted and predictable. And we do our best to ensure all our customers know about the sale. Not everything will be in the sale. Some best sellers do sell out. But there are bargains to be had. Real discounts and true savings.
We won’t give in to the pressure to adopt a discount pricing model. We see it as a bit of a grey squirrel, something that’s endangering our home grown retail model. Within this imported pricing culture it’s impossible for the customer to figure out what the real price of a product is – let alone the real value.
In this context Black Friday and the other discounting activities only serve to undermine the trust between retailer and customer.
We want you to shop confidently at A Hume. That’s why we won’t discount on Black Friday and we won’t release any sneaky discount codes.
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