The Race To The Bottom

Lidl’s spectacularly popular ‘cheap as chips’ prosecco deal last month was a timely reminder how much life has changed. And Aldi is clearly trying to outdo them as ‘money haemorrhage season’ (that’s Christmas to most of you) starts to loom over the horizon.

There was a time when to be poor, or to buy cheap, wasn’t something you shouted about. Now it’s worn like a badge of honour. People queued without shame (often still in their pyjamas) for something they could have bought for £3 more anywhere else at their convenience. And I doubt Lidl’s Prosecco is better than anyone else.

And yet even I am guilty of getting what I can on occasions. When Ancestry made a section of its website free to access over the bank holiday weekend last month you couldn’t drag me away from my laptop. It was worth it for what I found but now it’s back on full price subscription I’ll just wait for the next free weekend. Shame on me and it’s also defeated the object of what they want me to do which is resubscribe.

But my attitude to spending has definitely changed. I rarely spend because I’ve stopped buying for the sake of it. But when I do, I make sure it’s done wisely not only for the use I will get from what I buy but also into whose hands I am putting the money.

The fact of the matter is, you get what you pay for, and if something is on sale for £3.33 you can guarantee it wasn’t worth its previous price because no branded store sells at a loss.

I don’t do sales. I never have. By dropping your prices you are setting a precedence. You are telling your customer that if they wait long enough they will get the same thing for less which defeats the object of full price in the first place. And the only person losing out is the point of sale. You can sell a thousand dresses on sale, but if you haven’t broken even, what was the point?

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