Sunday, June 07, 2009

The deceit of discount offers outside stores

I wonder how many times people would have noticed things like this. It was just yesterday that I went to 2 different stores - one of them had advertised for a Flat 50% discount (this was a store called Fab Creations in the Cross River Mall in East Delhi), and the other store was the Reebok store in the same mall. The Reebok store had a similar offer, with the different being that the offer was described as 'Upto 50% off'.
First, we went to the clothes stores, there was no problem whatsoever, the clothes were indeed available at 50% off as a flat rate of discount, and the store was full of people willing to buy (and the people purchasing were not cribbing about the rate having been inflated earlier, a tactic that stores such as Cantabil, Priknit, and Kouton seem to have adopted (I wrote about this earlier - Priknit had jackets at 80% off, but the jacket that would normally have cost Rs. 1500 was priced at Rs. 5000 plus and I walked out in disgust at the horrible anti-consumer attitude of the store owners)). People were satisfied at the purchases, with the price and quality seeming right.
Next to the Reebok sale, the sale being advertised at upto 50% off. Last year, I had bought at a similar sale, but was apprehensive about the 'About' in the sale part this year. And to my disgust, this was exactly the case. The sale was only on the T-shirts (and the sign outside did not specify this; Reebok makes shows primarily, and the sale was not on shoes). Now, as a result, I am less likely to walk into a Reebok store when I see a sign about a sale, since I am slotting it into the same category as Woodlands (Woodlands has been in my constant no-go store list, since while I find the shoes fine, their thought process seems to be to hoodwink consumers - their sales are typically on almost discarded ranges of shoes, and the attitude they show when I ask about sale shoes is positively bad).
Is this normal behavior ? Is this right for a store to increase the expectations of consumers like this, and then let down so badly. Does it not seem that consumers will be less trusting of such brands later ?

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 5:26 AM