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Discounting no longer a priority for retailers

Retailers are steering away from a dependency on discounting, according to comments made by writer Joanna Perry for retail-week.com.

She explained that increasingly, retailers are recognising the downsides to offering discounts or sales; including the fact that if consumers become to used to not paying full price, they won't ever be prepared to do so again.

"This risk to their brands is something that retailers have been aware of for a while," Perry confirmed, before stating that the other big downside is the change in consumers' behaviour that sales bring about.

"Customers stop responding to discounts as they become more cautious about what provides real value when everything seems to be on deal," the writer said. "In our Retail 2012 report, one operations director explained that deals are no longer resonating with customers."

To combat this, Perry suggested the retailers should continue to offer discounts and sales (within reason), but should underpin this with messaging that identifies why their products offer true value for money. They could also consider investing the money they save from marketing big sales or actually facilitating them in more worthwhile ventures; perhaps improving their cash management processes or growing their workforce.

Her comments come shortly after Judith McKenna, the chief operating officer of Asda, revealed that she believes UK retailers will thrive in September - a positive turn of events after most posted a drop in sales throughout August. Cited by Reuters.com, McKenna (who also chairs a panel for the Confederation of British Industry) said that many retailers "expect sales to rise year-on-year" in September.

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