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'Continual discounting can only damage you long term'

Most retailers will be in the full swing of their summer Sale by now and hoping it will bring a much-needed trading boost.

Most retailers will be in the full swing of their summer Sale by now and hoping it will bring a much-needed trading boost. There’s also a feeling of reticence about what lies ahead this Sale, not only because it will make

the difference between being able to pay quarterly rents or not, but also because as major retailers have been slashing prices throughout the main season, will customers bite again?

I’d strongly advise other indies against following the continual discounters; it’s a short-term solution that can only damage your brand long term – why would a customer value your goods at full price if you don’t?

Instead we must look to more sustainable solutions to boost sales. Our strategy this year will be to encourage our customers to spend more by adding more value to our services – we’re looking at offering personal shopping, improving our customer care and providing a comprehensive multichannel offer.

We’ve also looked again at our suppliers, choosing those that actively discourage retailers from marking down during the main season and instead support us through marketing and promotions. It’s through these initiatives that we can create longevity and lay the foundations to see us safely through the recession. 

  • Olivia McMaster, Online and business systems development manager at indie Gemini Woman in Stratford-upon-Avon

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