Friday, August 01, 2008

"Genuine Sale" - The best oxymoron ever invented !

It's that time of that year , when most retail stores in Tamil Nadu have announced major discount sale across the season. The discount ranges from 10 % to 50 % in several categories



So are they for real ? Or is it just another scam ,in the process of luring more customers to the store .

With my little research and mystery shopping , I have begun to realize that 14 out of the 16 "big" stores I have been to ,claiming to have big discount offers, are just an eyewash.There is no actual sale on branded products going on

The advertisers have clearly understood the power of the word "Upto" and "Flat" and have used it in several manipulative terms .
These sales offering "upto 50% off" are actually applicable only to a few products kept in a certain desk and not for all.
Levi's , a popular jeans brand ,joined in the bandwagon of this "upto 50 % sale"

A small visit to the store in Pondy Bazaar left me in a great shock. The 50 % off , is only for a few T-shirts kept near the front desk .These T-Shirts had a picture of a girl clad only in leaves , shirt stained all over, and manufactured 2 years before !Even the guy collecting old clothes would refuse to touch such a piece of trash. Yet Levi's proudly displays in the front and prices it at 750 , with a 50 % off !

A Flat Sale !

A flat sale is generally defined as a discount sale upto to a certain percentage, across any item being displayed in the store. Be it a shirt or a sock or a shoe ! No exceptions .

But in India, you do seem to find exceptions and people find a way to get around to something somehow.

The most recent flat sale was advertised by Adidas. It goes like this

"Flat Sale - 40 % off. - In selected items* . Conditions Apply"

Apart from the "selected items" criterion , you also have the inevitable "conditions apply" tag , that further hampers your belief.

Incidentally one of my previous posts was on Brand Promise , where I had said , brands have to offer what they have promised and manage to fulfill their customer expectations in every way.
It may be pardonable for small apparel retailers to indulge in such fake practices .
But when it comes to one of world's major brands like Nike,Adidas & Levi's , I guess its time for some tough disciplinary action on these brands, by the media watchdogs and the Govt , for deceiving ordinary people with false ad campaigns

Coincidentally, the previous week BBC network of channels was slapped with a hefty fine , after the British watchdog , had figured out that one of the contests in a show offering big prizes , was so manipulative that it can never be won by anybody in the public .

If that was for the media , I recommend there should be in place a similar group who could monitor these campaigns and work with the Govt ,to penalize these brands and retail stores for falsely advertising and campaigning

The only exception to all these false promises is Reebok , who is genuinely offering a 50 % sale in all items (though these products are worth only 40-50 % of these prices , added to their poor product quality )

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