I was recently in Chennai and happened to see an advertisement in the newspaper from a leading footwear Retailer announcing End of Season Sale and massive discounts. Someone within my friends circle had even mentioned about it on Facebook. Excited I was like many others, landed up at the store on a Saturday evening. To my utter disappointment, the store was in complete disarray. The owner was standing in one corner with a long face and the sole salesman was running pillar to post, literally. There were atleast 20 customers within the store – a few on the lower level and mostly women on the upper floor. I will not mention the name of the Retailer who is well renowned in Chennai and I only assume that this incident was an aberration than norm. Hope it gets better sooner than later. How I wish...
Some key learning that I took out of this episode;
- End of Season Sale is not just a season to liquidate stocks. It is also an opportunity to attract newer customers from across the town
- To mention “Upto 40% Off” in the advertisement and finally offering unknown brands at such a discount or lower is a wasted effort
- Women are slow shoppers – they spend on an average 2-3 times the amount of time than men while shopping and also try 3-4 times more footwear than men
- It didn’t make any sense to stock women’s products on the upper level – while most customers did walk up, it would have been a better idea to stock them downstairs and allow them more space to move around
- There were just two boys running around helping customers in each floor. Knowing fully well the additional footfalls that are expected due to the newspaper advertisement, it would have made sense that there were more helpers in the store to assist customers
- There is a tendency to believe that discount-seekers are of a lower profile than normal customers and hence it is ok to serve them less! Bad Idea! There were more cars parked outside the store than two-wheelers. And most of them who paid for the product used a debit or credit card
- Worst of all is to stock the products badly – in carton boxes and allowing customers to search for their sizes
At the end of it, I found nothing interesting that were on Sale; instead I walked out of the store rather disappointed. disgusted more on the owners’ interest levels and attitude than the fact that not much was available to buy! Will I visit the shop again? Yes. I guess it was more of a one-off case and would allow the Retailer to correct themselves!