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Destructive fashion discounting

Fashion and beauty professionals discussed the culture of discounts and promotions across retail. These are some of the views shared around the table.

48% of clothing, footwear and accessories were sold at markdown prices in 2016, according to WGSN Instock.

Some brands are so synonymous with discounts and promotions you wouldn’t buy from them full price. The White Company was mentioned as a culprit.

Introducing lower entry price point product was mentioned as a way to drive revenue from customers who only shop with a promotion.

Discounts as an acquisition tactic was seen as damaging to a brand, but discounting to reward loyalty is seen as a positive.

Brands need to choose whether they are commercial or true luxury. If the latter, avoid discounting.

Signs are pointing towards Amazon owning the customer for branded fashion (apart from budget and luxury items). This will impact pricing strategies in a way we are yet to see.

Demonstrating the value of a product is vital to securing full price sales. If the customer understands what they are paying for they’ll buy. Everlane was cited as an example – the brand shows customers how the selling price has been structured with transparency on the margin.

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