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Culture of perpetual offers makes life difficult for retailers

16 April 2018 - 10:01 by David Aiken

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Modern consumers expect to be able to benefit from discount prices and time-limited bargains, whether on the high street or when carrying out safe shopping online. But this state of affairs is causing problems for retailers and making it harder for them to turn a profit.

This is according to a new study from Klarna, which found that sales events now occur throughout the year, rather than being focused in specific periods. This means that 57 per cent of people believe that discounts should be available on a regular basis.

Internet Retailing reports that the majority of companies questioned in the study said that the demand for never-ending sales was compromising their ability to profit from their operations. And perhaps unsurprisingly, it was revealed that price cuts are usually taken advantage of via safe shopping online.

The study spokesperson, Luke Griffiths, said that outlets of all sizes were feeling the pinch due to discount culture, even if it gives them an opportunity to sell off stock which has lain dormant and clogged up their warehouses.

The survey went on to examine the ways that consumers perceive retail sales, with almost a fifth saying that they did not bother to make any purchase unless an offer was available.

This is particularly prevalent among millennials, who are more likely to hang around for a bargain to appear than their older counterparts.

Interestingly, there are also plenty of people who do not appreciate the sales experience, with 28 per cent saying that they find shopping for discounted items overly stress-inducing. This indicates that there is a counterbalance to the trend for cutting prices on items throughout the year which retailers could use to avoid such issues, clawing back profits in the process without upsetting customers.