Preparing For Deep Holiday Discounts

sleterThe fourth quarter has arrived and with it the final preparations by retailers for the holiday season. While the first three quarters of 2016 were largely unspectacular across a number of housewares product segments, all eyes are now watching what steps retailers will take to drive product into the hands of consumers.

Within the small electrics segment, several suppliers in recent weeks told me they were concerned about the potential for even deeper discounting on key items during November and December than has been seen in past years.

This does not necessarily mean we’ll be seeing small electrics for $2 (at least we hope not), but what we may see in-store and online is deeper price cuts on mid-tier and high-end items as part of an effort to drive sales.

A recent report by DealNews, a consumer website focused on highlighting top deals from across numerous industries, shed some light on what pricepoints consumers could see as they shop their favorite retailer during the holidays.

In its “Black Friday Home Goods Predictions 2016,” DealNews said small appliance sales could start as low as $3, while “major-brand” coffeemakers could be priced at $65. While not offering specifics on the style of coffeemakers or which brands would hit this pricepoint, the report did note that Keurig coffeemakers would fall to “best-ever” prices on Thanksgiving. A price for Keurig, however, was not mentioned.

DealNews also noted that some of the lowest prices could be achieved through gift cards and the very convenient mail-in rebates. While we understand retailers are hoping few consumers will make the effort to mail in their rebates, in the spirit of customer service, they really should give shoppers the option to submit rebates online.

But the big question surrounding these deals is what impact the forthcoming holiday promotions will have on the category long term. The anticipated deep discounting may drive sales now, but once consumers have a quality product in their kitchens what will entice them to buy something new at a higher price in 2017?

Perhaps that answer will be found this coming March among the new products we’ll see in Chicago.