Saturday, 7 January 2017

Gloves Off - Where Are The Retail Police When You Need Them.

Competition can be a wonderful thing but there are times when we need a friendly regulator in the retail industry to keep our over enthusiastic major players in line.

What is this with "back to school" during the first week in January? Do our major retailers have no heart? Families have barely started on their once a year chance to relax and get away from the trials and expense of bringing up young families and we remind them that in about one months time they are going to be broke again after forking out for school expenses.

It was barely the 3rd of January when my local shopping centre went full-on "back to school" with Target, K-Mart and others dedicating the front of their stores to school related merchandise. Hang on - we haven't had the holidays to get back from yet!

This is all part of a trend where a Christmas sales start in November, after Christmas sales start before Christmas has arrived, and every retailer tries to beat its competitor to the punch with no more logic to their timing than "I want to be first". What's next? - Easter eggs in January? Actually there is a social media backlash in the U.K. at present because Easter eggs are already on supermarket shelves.

This is modern retailing gone crazy, and seriously, consumers deserve something better. Which retailer is going to put their hand up and say "yes, I am going to be more responsible with my customers"? Not much chance of that which is why we need the retail police. Otherwise, on a serious note, the backlash from consumers could strike a big negative for our industry.