Does ‘selfish shopping’ justify post-holiday discounting?
After another holiday season spent focused on others, shoppers are spending their post-season run-down spending money on themselves, according to one regional grocery chain.
According to Terri Greenwald, store director at a Meijer in Swartz Creek, MI, the chain has seen the development of a significant post-holiday trend of customers who are buying things for themselves in the aftermath of the holidays (often because of the gift cards that they received during the season). Ms. Greenwald, speaking to a local mid-Michigan Fox affiliate, noted a series of deals available at the store after the holidays.
Gift cards have been increasing in popularity for more than a decade, topping the list of most requested gift items for the thirteenth year in a row in the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2019 holiday spending survey. In that poll, 59 percent wanted gift cards for the holidays.
Whether driven by gift card redemption, self-spending after a season of giving or other phenomena, it is becoming clear that the holiday shopping season no longer ends with Christmas. An NRF survey found that 68 percent of shoppers planned to shop the week after Christmas, with 50 percent looking forward to deals and promotions, NBC News reports.
It is not clear how necessary — or how wise — it is for retailers to have such sales immediately in the wake of holiday season discounts. Making post-holiday deep discounts available to capture the “selfish-shopper” helps customers make the most efficient use of money that has already been given to a retailer by the person who bought the gift card, but it could also mean retailers losing potentially more lucrative sales. At the same time, customers are so likely to wait for deals on some items that not offering one could compromise a sale.
Customers may also have an added incentive to shop the store soon after the holidays if they’ve gotten a gift card—deal or not. Despite the fact that gift cards do not expire, statistically speaking, customers are more likely to forget about or lose them the longer they go without using them, according to an ABC News report.
- ‘Selfish Shopping’: Meijer store director talks new post-holiday trend – NBC News
- Tips to make the best of post-holiday shopping – NBC News
- Holiday shoppers plan to spend 4 percent more this year – National Retail Federation
- Gift cards: use ‘em before you lose ‘em – ABC News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is there a new wave of selfish shoppers shopping for themselves after the holidays? Are retailers wise to peg promotions to the concept of the selfish shopper or are they diluting potential profits?