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Consumers In Destructive Down Sales Spiral?

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*Chani* View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 30 2014 at 3:35pm
A recently stopped by a little brick & mortar boutique where I used to buy inexpensive hair accessories such as headband, hair clips, barrettes and similar. 

The price range would generally be from $5-6 up to $20, but the items were cute.  I knew that at $5 I wasn't getting a hand cut, hand made, hand polished hair clip or headband.  I knew it was probably coming from a mold made of plastic, but it fit my budget so I always tried to get the lowest prices I could.

When I went to the boutique they had NO hair accessories of any kind.  I was surprised and asked the manager why.  She told me she was "losing money" selling those types of items because they had such a paper thin margin and customers were demanding all kinds of discounts and freebies on the items.  Finally she just got tired of fighting it and stopped selling them altogether.

A friend of mind recently experienced the same thing with a store where she used to get inexpensive t-shirts.  Same story, same result.  No longer selling her favorite items because the store couldn't survive on those razor thin margins.

I have since noticed that the wonderful collection of hair accessories that you used to be able to find on the Internet is shrinking. 

Have greedy consumers who kept pushing manufacturers and their distributors to give more, more, more, cause some of the beloved items to disappear forever? 

I didn't really think about this until my favorite boutique stopped carrying the inexpensive items I used to love to buy.  I'm sad and feel bad that this may be happening more and more.

What do you think?  Will the current consumer obsession with getting the absolute cheapest price eventually cost us options to buy for many different vendors?
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gendolly View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gendolly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 30 2014 at 3:49pm
I agree with everything you've said.

What you reference about little Boutiques and stores dropping certain items because of consumer return fraud and other issues is happening, it's just happening quietly.  One day consumers will wake up and not be able to buy things they love.

Another problem is Organized Retail Crime Activity which is just one of the other major problems retailers are struggling with.  As recently reported in Accessories Magazine NRF has impacted the majority of major store.  It's alarming to note that this crime is migrating to e-commerce sites.

More info:
http://www.accessoriesmagazine.com/95805/survey-organized-retail-crime-still-major-problem-retailers#.U4jr0nYvq0k

Organized Retail Crime is a $30 billion a year problem which still poses serious threats to retailers of all sizes throughout the country..

Savvy criminals are also finding ways to manipulate well-intentioned policies for innocent shoppers who need to return items to the store. According to the survey, more than three-quarters (76.9%) of respondents say they have experienced thieves returning stolen merchandise for store credit, to then sell that merchandise credit to secondary market buyers or sellers–unchanged from the 77.8% last year.

The intricate scheme that criminals today use to manipulate and defraud retailers could eventually impact how retailers accept returned items, which is extremely unfortunate for innocent shoppers who simply need to return something back to the store.

Top Cities for Organized Retail Crime Activity

Many cities have remained top locations for ORC activity for the past several years, including Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

The top 10 locations that retailers say have the most criminal activity are (by rank):

●Los Angeles
●Miami
●Chicago
●New York
●Houston
●Atlanta
●Baltimore
●San Francisco/Oakland
●Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth
●Detroit

Add to all of that the way government targets small business in a variety of ways including a higher risk of tax audits, being forced to participate in mandatory government surveys and fill out excessive amounts of paperwork, no wonder small retailers are fighting for their live. 

It's not just consumers, its a whole range of things including competition from cheap Chinese and related importers.



Edited by gendolly - May 30 2014 at 3:49pm
gendolly
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