Kohl's Wins with Shoppers' Wants
By Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, 8/21/2006 12:00:00 AM
Around the recent New York Market, it was said that Kohl's had the only buying team making the rounds that seemed to be truly happy. By the time the week was out, we all found out why.
Kohl's reported late in the week that its home department scored an 8% comp gain during the second quarter — trumping the 5.5% total store comp — and turned in the best performance among the company's six lines of business. Leading the way: bedding, bath and housewares. You know, items a lot of stores consider commodities.
How'd they do it? Among other things, by raising prices.
Further, president Kevin Mansell said during the company's quarterly conference call that Kohl's plans to continue ticking up prices into a “better-best” bracket on new merchandise rollouts. The point isn't to create a new pricing tier, he added, just to take price points a little higher than they'd been.
What a concept: Trust the consumer to pay for merchandise that really strikes a chord.
As has been noted in this space previously, when the money gets tight, the best way to harvest dollars out of the consumer's pocketbook is to entice her with wants — as opposed to simply battling it out to present the lowest-priced needs.
Few people actually need a new bedroom set, new lamps or new clothes in the immediate term. They might like to have something new; they may even long to have something new. But they're not going to plop down the plastic unless they can't resist the something new they're being offered.
Crap at a great price is still crap. People will pay for what they want.
Despite rising gas prices, full-size pickups were the most popular vehicles with U.S. buyers in the first six months of this year, according to research by MSN Autos. The top seller — the full-sized Ford F-150 — averages 14 miles to the gallon.
The F Series has been the best-selling truck in the United States for 28 years. That's a bull run that dates back to the Carter Administration.
Just a thought for everyone to carry into style-outs.
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