By Quentin Fottrell
Store discounts are now so prevalent that shoppers expect every day to be as big a bargain as the day after Thanksgiving, according to a new study.
“Discounted prices become an anticipated part of the consumer products shopping experience,” according to the annual American Pantry Survey carried out by auditing and consulting firm Deloitte LLP and Harrison Group, a market research firm. And not just at Macy’s. Consumers are more reluctant than ever to pay full price — and plan accordingly, the study found. Around 80% of those surveyed say they have savings in mind when they enter a store, and 66% shop when they know products will be on sale. “Shoppers today expect to get a deal on the products they purchase,” says Pat Conroy, vice-chairman at Deloitte LLP.
Big-name brands are also losing out to less familiar ones, according to the survey of over 4,000 shoppers. Some 87% say “generic” store brands are just as good as national brands and believe they are saving money without giving up quality. Also, 88% of consumers have gone the extra step by experimenting with generics in order to figure out which ones match the name brands. Consumer product companies will need to take action to prevent more shoppers from moving to cheaper generic brands, Conroy says.
Technology is helping shoppers go where the Black Friday-style discounts are, experts say. Jill Cataldo, the founder of Super-Couponing workshops, says shoppers are armed with tools on their smartphones that help them to comparison shop online and match coupons to those best sales. “It’s become an easy game that anyone can play,” she says. “It’s no longer a case of ‘I want a box of crackers today,’ but, ‘I’ll buy several boxes the next time they’re on sale, and I can wait for that to happen.’”