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Retailers Are Doing Away With Those Constant 40% Off Sales

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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Now that the economy is recovering, retailers are trying to scale back on ever-present store-wide promotions of 30%, 40%, and even more off purchases. The Washington Post reports that brands like Express, Neiman Marcus, New York & Co, Quicksilver, and Vera Bradley all plan to dial back on promotions this year. Blowout-style sales worked to help skittish customers shop during the recession and in the years since, but they also hurt retailers' profitability and sense of exclusivity.

"They have to differentiate their brand in other ways, because otherwise, it’s a race to the bottom," Ernst & Young consumer-engagement consultant Marcie Merriman told the Post. Promotional pricing might be slowing down, but that doesn't mean you can't find a deal. Some retailers will shift to category-specific sales, like personalized email promotions tailored to items you've bought before.

Getting rid of constant promotions to boost profit margins is going to be a gamble for retailers, though. "It’s become such a normal and pervasive thing for certain retailers to be on sale every day of the week," chief executive of retail consultancy Talmage Advisors Liz Dunn told the Post.