Mind your P's & Q's


My sign & promotional offering pet peeves… and remember this is coming from a Veteran Visual Merchandiser who has worked in corporate marketing … I was once the person who made up the promotional offerings!  BUT, I still believe that people need to be happy with their purchase… a lesson I learned from a very smart lady, my FIRST retail boss (about a billion years agoJ).  As a store manager in a world of ever increasing sales goals & making plan, she taught her staff that you never tell someone that a skirt, or shirt, or pant looks good on them just to make a sale.  She wanted us to sell people merchandise they really liked,  then they would become return customers and tell their friends…. And now she is the VP of a national retail chain.  I think of her & her wisdom often and I know that she is one of the reasons I have ethics and high standards today.

At first, retailers tried to trick us into thinking we are getting the deal of a life time … 50% off…(actual sign says: UP TO 50% off) or $4.99 (actual sign says: STARTING AT $4.99) with the key lettering so small you had to use a magnifying glass to read it.  I think we all know this tactic now days and I often over hear customers ask for clarification before they get to attached to anything on the rack –“ is EVERYTHING? 50% off?” .

AS customers are appearing to be well versed in promotions and how they work, the signs are becoming more vague.  As retailers want to save printing cost and everyone is so aware of what goes into our landfills, marketers have started printing generic signs that are to be used several times over.  Now stores are putting up signs that best explain the promotion, but are often technically wrong.  Example, they will put up a sign that says ENTIRE STORE 50% OFF ~ when in fact they apply only the racks that are signed  or TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 50% OFF when the merchandise is regular price so it is in fact just 50% off not and additional… MY REAL BEEF AND INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOG ENTRY IS WITH AMERICAN EAGLE WHO KNOWINGLY PUT MERCHANDISE ON A SALE RACK, MARKED IT ALL AS AN ADDITIONAL 40% OFF AND THEN WOULD NOT GIVE ME THE ADDITIONAL SAVINGS…

You know I am not new at this, I always make sure that an item is not the only one on the rack because, yes, customers move stuff… and there was at least 5 more of these in a variety of sizes –that means the staff in the store placed the shirt on the rack and I should be able to purchase it at the price listed on the sign……. Instead, the sales person rudely said “yah, NOoo – not all the stuff on that rack is an additional 40% off… So,ooo, do you still want it?”.  I decided to decline as it was not the price I had intended on paying, and then I heard an ill-mannered sigh as I turned to leave the store.  Well, if the store marketing team & the merchandisers did their job, the sales person wouldn’t have had to go through the extra effort to void the sale *sarcasm*.

Thank You for letting me rant…and reading it to the end! lol

Have a wonderful day & wishing you all happy shopping experiences!

Laurie Kron


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