“A bloodbath I tell ye… a bloodbath!”
Not the headline you want to read first thing in the morning and certainly not at a time when trade is pretty crap.
We are all used to price cutting, but it has reached the point where no one knows what something sells for, prices are completely liquid and everyday someone comes into the shop asking you to match a price that someone, somewhere, is selling at below or just above cost.
As for the comment from suppliers that they can’t do anything about it… well that is a load of old… can’t do anything? Of course they can, but why should they? They get their money anyway, why should they care where it ends up at retail if they are getting a return on their products?
The problem is, you only have to see how a small drop in turnover affects the share price of Tesco and other supermarkets. You can see why they all want to be vain and get sales figures up at any price; maybe if they didn’t sell so many things so cheap, they might actually do that. Consumers now say they don’t understand, trust or believe supermarket promotions, but that doesn’t stop them from buying at a supermarket or buying into these promos.
What we as indies have to do is try and run genuine offers to show we offer real value which doesn’t harm a brand.
I have always said the knock-on effect to other items in the range is helpful. When a blaster toy sells for less than the extra darts, then the consumers think something is not right. When a Scalextric set sells in a concession for less than the price of the same two cars, that’s when something is not right. As for those looking for clothes for dolls, Primark is the place to go: 12 shirts/babygros for the price of one outfit from a certain supplier.
But are we as an industry helping ourselves? Some ranges need to have a promotion to bring the toys down to a sensible price.
We are losing too many independents in all sectors of retail for it not to have a massive impact.
The penny is dropping in government of the valuable contribution that independents make to the coffers of the HM Treasury, at a time when the big corporations are fiddling their way to avoidance.
Hopefully, July 4th got the message across that, actually, indies are great places to shop and offer real better value than faceless corps.