By Ron Cooper
director of sales and marketing
Profit Management Promotions
Today, sales promotion events are used as part of everyday business practices in furniture retailing. Unfortunately, some store owners still don’t know when it’s appropriate to conduct a sale. In short, they don’t recognize the warning signs that a sales promotion is vitally needed to address near-term challenges or to capitalize on longer term opportunities.
There are several recurring signals – from a merchandising, operational, and financial standpoint – that tell you a sales promotion event is strategically required. Here’s the first one:
Merchandise Matters: Consumer tastes are always changing. So too does their sensitivity to pricing – especially in tight economic times. When your merchandise mix, or pricing, is outdated, a sales promotion event is the most viable way to clear out the old to make way for the new.
A case in point. A high-profile store wanted to keep pace with changing market dynamics. The store’s furniture merchandise mix had become outdated – in both style and price. In short, the product line did not reflect current consumer tastes … or consumer economics! Using high-impact sales at both of its locations, we quickly liquidated old inventory to pave the way for an updated array of new merchandise. (Importantly, the events also supported the stores’ new branding strategy as a seller of high-end furnishings.)
Today’s take-away: Realistically assess the currency of your merchandise … and consumers’ willingness to fork over their own “currency” for it!
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a new weekly column – Promotion Possibilities – that provides tips, tactics and techniques for using sales promotions for business gain.
About Ron Cooper & Profit Management Promotions: Ron Cooper is director of sales and marketing for Profit Management Promotions – one of the nation’s leading sales promotion firms serving the home furnishings industry. Established in 1985, the company is headquartered in Jamison, Pennsylvania, and maintains regional offices in New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina.
Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada. In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.