23 February 2007

High-Low Pricing Works For Us.

I've just started a unit on retail pricing in my merchandising strategies class. It's interesting, actually, looking at how variable the pricing is depending on what kind of retailer you're running. For instance, Neiman Marcus is an above-price retailer--they actually charge more than the suggested retail value for items. But they can do it, because they sometimes have the items in stock before anyone else, and their wealthy customers don't mind paying more to be the first one on Rodeo Drive sporting the new Dior. However, these stores end up losing more than others during sales, because they're losing huge chucks of that originally planned profit. Another method is "high-low pricing"--charging slightly above the ideal price considering their target shoppers, but then reeling them in with massive sales that end up making tons of money. One champion of this strategy is Macy's, and I spent a fruitless hour this morning (after 5 hours of sleep) scouring the internet for articles about their policies. Now I know some more keywords after talking to my professor, but jeez, my usual mad boolean search skillz were getting me nowhere.

Easier than researching Macy's high-low pricing, thankfully, is taking advantage of it. TOMORROW. (Or, if it's already Saturday by the time you've lazily read this, TODAY.)

My teacher (my current fave lady over 30; she's a research psychologist and also used to be a buyer for Nordstrom. She never sleeps and has amazing clothes and gives us actual challenging work.) says that if there's one day to see high-low pricing in action, Saturday's the day: the One Day Sale is the mother of them all. And, she says, if you drop $500 you didn't plan on, it's not her fault. Ditto for me: I'm just the messenger. But since you asked, here are a few choice items you might bag during your investigation: Maidenform's "One Fab Fit Endless Options" bra, which, despite questionable advertising (ENDLESS? really? methinks not.) looks to be quite the versatile little number, for a mere 20 bucks. Also, KitchenAid's fab little immersion blender, which would be PERFECT for my morning yogurt-berry smoothie. On sale for $50--and comes in lotsa colors. And please don't overlook the lovely Doc Marten boots ("with classic yellow Z-stitch accents") for only 85 dollars. Fellows, let me tell you: in 1997, I could think of nothing more appealing than a lanky guy in a Kurt Cobain shirt wearing a pair of these bad boys. I even considered--I can't believe I'm admitting this--buying myself a pair in silver (the $120 price tag kept me from it. Thank god.). Anyway, Macy's will let you relive the magic. So go forth, research and learn. And while you're at it, I seriously want that immersion blender.

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