Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wear your thriftiness with pride!

Is thriftiness the new favourite dinner party topic of conversation? Well, that’s the theory of one of my clients, a Chief Executive no less, who regaled me yesterday with tales of shopping at Aldi!

He is not alone. I too have recently shopped at Aldi (£24 for a loft ladder compared to £44.98 in B&Q) and I am quite prepared to shout it from the rooftops. In fact I currently have my eye on a very niftily priced garden hose reel for £10.99 compared to £19.98 in B&Q (if anyone from B&Q is reading this, I’m sorry but you are getting mullered by Aldi on certain products).

My client’s point is that people are looking for value at the moment and old prejudices and loyalties are fast falling by the wayside. In his words, “if you’re even a little bit off with your business plan on the High Street at the moment, the competition and the consumer will clobber you.”

What is interesting is that online sales are holding up. The value of retail sales in May 2011 showed an increase of 3.8 per cent compared with May 2010, driven by non-store retailing (in other words e-commerce) which can offer the consumer low prices driven by lower cost base and “offers’ such as Nectar points and other loyalty schemes which are effectively cash.

Let me give you an example. I’m told that if you sign up for an Amazon co-branded credit card and then go into the site via Nectar you get double points – one lot from Nectar and another lot from shopping with Amazon.

Now that’s a deal.


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