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Consumers are disenchanted with January sales says marketing firm

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

January 17, 2012 | 2 min read

Marketing firm {united} has found that what has traditionally been seen as the post-Christmas customer reward is shortening by as much as a fortnight for the first time as consumers become disenchanted.

The survey of 2,000 consumers found that 49% have already abandoned the sales, with more than 1 in 5 believing nothing will encourage them to shop this month.

The fact the Christmas sales start earlier, with two thirds of shops beginning the sale period in December, might have something to do with this change, {united} believes. It points out that many retailers have brought forward the end date of the sale: the Monsoon/Accessorize sale finished on 30 January last year, but on 13 January this year.

{united} suggests that retailers must buck this trend next year by revealing their beliefs and build new and long-term relationships with consumers, in a world where good value is now a pre-requisite.

Elly Woolston, founder of {united}, said: “This is a warning to retailers and brands alike that consumers are no longer charmed by the January sale alone. The recession is not the only factor effecting people’s mood to shop. We are now in a world where there is unbalanced emphasis on the monetary value of products rather than the consumer’s values.

“With consumers now wanting value-added extras from brands and retailers they can relate to, brands need to lay out their values and beliefs for all to see. That’s not to say that the ‘sale’ is obsolete, but soon customers will reach a tipping point on price alone and retailers are going to have to do more than grapple with quick-win promotions.”

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