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Beating The Holiday Blues

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While Wild Things is pleased with the initial results from its customization tool, the company did not tie its holiday sales fortunes entirely to the new functionality.

“During the holidays, the signs of success are how to keep the right amount of raw materials to deliver merchandise that turns, not sits idle in the warehouse,” says Wild Things CEO Ed Schmults. “That is a powerful story.”

In addition, the retailer found it important to look beyond deep discounts. While consumers are clearly focused on price during the holidays, Schmults believes that relying on markdowns is “the fastest way to win the race to the bottom.

“Full retail prices can attract new customers, and as long as they know it is quality merchandise they will pay a premium,” he says.

The concept of showrooming is putting new pressure on retailers’ pricing strategies, however. More shoppers are doing their homework online before even walking into a retail store. Similarly, they are visiting stores to test drive merchandise, then using personal mobile devices to price-shop the item – and even purchase it from a competitor.

Showrooming isn’t defining Wild Things’ value strategy, though. “There needs to be a balance between using full-price merchandise to attract shoppers, in concert with markdowns when needed,” Schmults says.

Retailers should focus on delivering value through a combination of price, merchandise and service. “When retailers can deliver exactly what the shopper wants, price is not the deciding factor,” he says. “Value is.”

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