Are seasonal sales bad for the planet?

Looeeze Grossman TUKC
Looeeze Grossman, TUKC

With Black Friday fast approaching, followed by the usual Boxing Day sale madness, Looeeze Grossman, founder of The Used Kitchen Company, asks why can’t every day be a sale day?

Largely used as a marketing gimmick and a chance to get as many people through the door as possible in a short space of time, the annual big sale days tend to encourage excessive spending and a high chance of ‘buying for the sake of it’.  

In a recent survey, 83% of British consumers said that they do not trust that the offers on sale are as good as they seem, or question that the offers are genuine. For high-street and online brands selling clothing or home goods, it’s a time to get them through the door, get them buying and then hope those items are wanted rather than being bought simply because they’re a bargain, sitting in a cupboard for years and ultimately ending up in landfill.

However, a kitchen or bathroom isn’t a quick or spontaneous purchase. They’re expensive, they take planning and they require multiple other trades to be involved in fitting. So, do we, as an industry, need to conform to the sale mind-set? Or can we look to a new way of marketing that promotes year-round value and sustainability?

By every day being a sale day, consumers know that they’re always going to get the very best value they can, something which is vitally important in today’s cost-of-living crisis. There’s no pressure to ‘wait for the sale’ or hold off in case the price happens to drop a few months into your search. By having a level pricing playing field, there’s no need to wait. Customers can plan their purchases at a time that works for them. This can also help to spread the work throughout the year, rather than the traditional pre-Christmas rush or spring craziness of renovations.

It also helps to promote sustainability and mindful purchasing in other areas, as chances are when your customer is purchasing their new kitchen or bathroom, they’re unlikely to stop there. There will be new towels, new small kitchen appliances in a colour to match the new handles, new accessories and, of course, flooring and lighting.

Making every day a sale day helps level the playing field for all and helps to support the smaller bespoke outlets. Few small businesses or bespoke designers can afford to match the bold claims of sale discounts and special offers. They pride themselves and promote themselves on their workmanship, their business ethos and their heritage. Isn’t that worth considering? Being known more for always offering great quality with great all-year-round prices over quick price drops and the never-ending sale as many a high street sofa retailer seems to be in?

While larger firms will have more hoops to jump through to consider this change, which will hopefully also encourage a more sustainable outlook in all areas of their business, smaller firms can make actionable changes, should they wish, far more easily. And it’s up to us, as an industry, to champion that.

Times are hard enough for everyone in the industry right now, so let’s not just highlight the big sales and epic discounts, let’s remind our customers and the public that value comes from the quality and the service they receive every day.

So let’s think about ditching the sale and promoting a year-round, sustainable shopping experience for our customers, and the planet.

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