The End of Season Sales(EOSS) has become one of the most promising retail strategies for today's retail brands as it is their 'trump' card when it comes to meeting sales targets
Women across all strata of society simply love shopping and are the true shopaholics. It is a surprise that today’s men are also joining the bandwagon. It is said the rise in the number of urbane men and women with immense spending power has created an opportunity for retailers to satisfy their needs for clothes, gadgets, lifestyle amenities, etc. Retailers are therefore encouraging such consumers to shop in good numbers and to shop for more by just advertising EOSS or ‘stock clearance sale’.
A strategy beyond stock clearance
A set of retail pundits, however, think otherwise and say that EOSS is not merely a stock clearance sale but more than that.
According to Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland, “The EOSS provides a platform for the retailers to interact with their consumers through various initiatives undertaken by the marketing teams to promote the sales.”
Shital Mehta, CEO, Pantaloons Fashion & Retail Ltd, said, “I have seen people buying fresh merchandise when coming in a sales period and that sale percentage grows to 30-40 per cent from fresh merchandise. My observation is that, people shop in the first two weeks of the sales, after that they upgrade buying from fresh arrivals.”
EOSS happens for various reasons, the liquidation need is one, or simply for the purpose of increasing brand awareness and creating brand loyalty. It generally happens for stock clearance, as time and again, stores receive stock according to local demand, which at times, results in excess inventory that clutters a store. So, EOSS helps in clearing up that space.
Undoubtedly, EOSS increases store traffic. The sheer attraction of getting merchandise at lower prices, that too, from prominent brands attracts customers, and in some cases, widens the customer base too. For example, EOSS gives an opportunity to buy a Zara leather jacket at a discounted price to a middle-class college-goer, which otherwise is difficult for her to buy.
Moreover, during EOSS, retailers plan special VMs (visual merchandising), which not only create a magical shopping experience, but also make the sale season more than just shopping, which ultimately results in increased footfall.
Arun Chandra Mohan, Founder & CEO, Jabong, said, “EOSS is a crucial part of the business and it is necessary for liquidation process. So far, it has been very effective from product point of view.”
Ringing the cash register
Most of the retailers agreed that EOSS period contributes a decent share in their overall revenue; however, the percentage of margin varies substantially.
Singh said, “With better offers and sharper promotions, this year we have seen an increased traffic for EOSS, both at our offline and online stores during the past two months.”
Ranjan Sharma, VP IT and Supply Chain Management at Bestseller Retail, said, “It has been a fantastic EOSS for us and we have done much better than our plans. This is something that started with large brands and has caught up with all kinds of fashion retailers participating in this. In fact, this has moved from being a window shopping for customers to become a planned purchase.”
Mehta explained, “This is a very good strategy to reach to a wider segment of consumers who with the help of this EOSS might just have started to shop for better store experience and in real low prices. Consumers expect discount throughout the year. Yet, some don’t wait for the discount season to come, because for them shopping during the discount season is uncomfortable as it brings a lot of rush, and they feel the quality of merchandise is down than the normal quality merchandise. It is a sign of evolving market unlike the North American market where they have a discounted market altogether. In a nutshell, EOSS is a win-win for consumers and retailers.”
Unlike eCommerce players, sales and discount shouldn’t be the only attraction to keep the excitement alive among consumers to visit brands. Therefore, retailers should cautiously align such practices in order to keep their bottomline sustainable.
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