Headline on Yahoo! today: Retailers Report Weak June Sales.
Well, duh. Has anyone been to retail stores lately? Especially clothing stores? It’s like retailers think we are all rolling in dough or something. And even if we were rolling in dough, the prices on shitty crap made in China are obscene, especially at stores that like to capitalize on brand names. Most of the stuff is piteously and poorly made, but it has a label in it, so the store charges a small fortune. T-shirts that are so thin they are see-through. Clothes have seams where the threads are already coming out before the clothes have even been sold. Then the retailers want $50 or $60 for them. And it isn’t just clothes. Bottles of plain lotion are $15. Razor blades–razor blades! those little pieces of metal that cost about .20 cents–are 20 bucks a pack, just so people can have four in a row. Cereal is $6 a box, when the cost to make cereal is lower than it has ever been. It’s insane.
Here’s a clue stores: Want to sell more stuff? Lower prices to an affordable and reasonable level. Forty bucks for a t-shirt is too much, especially a crappy, see-through t-shirt. Seventy bucks for pants is ridiculous, especially since you can’t seem to vary your sizes so that people can buy things that fit. $100 or more for a purse is stupid, especially since, in my experience, the straps or buckles break within a couple of months. Marking things as “on sale” with a higher MSRP is for fools. You may have been able to sell your crap for ridiculous prices a couple of years ago, but times have changed (and people were probably buying all your crap on credit then anyway. Now the bills are due and the job is gone and there isn’t anything left to spend with.).
A special note to Goodwill: Your stuff is USED. Trying to sell a suitcase with a hole in it for forty bucks is never going to make you a penny. I can go buy a NEW one for that price, without the hole! Used clothes for $10 or $15 is too much. And an old, ratty, smelly couch for $150 is TOO MUCH! Your racks are FILLED with crap you will never sell because, guess what? Your prices are too high for used junk. There was a bunch of flack a couple of years ago about your CEO making too much money. Stop charging too much and giving the money you do make to the CEO. Start helping the people you put on your trucks and in your ads in your pitiful attempts to look like d0-gooders and actually charge prices these people could afford.