McGarrigle, Chairman of the World Retail Congress, makes his keynote opening address. © World Retail Congress
If you follow me on Twitter or if you attended WRC at the beautiful Cavalieri hotel in Rome you’ll know that I had the privilege to moderate a panel of distinguished retailers to discuss the subject of discounting, specifically selling for less than the planned margin.
One of the event’s sponsors JDA had earlier presented data from a survey of retail leaders showing that their top foiur risk concerns included : increasing competitive threats (41%); margin erosion and cost reduction (39%); data security threats (25%), and attracting and retaining customers (24%).
Our panel, hosted by Congress sponsor and price optimisation software vendor Revionics, tackled the margin erosion issue asking: ‘How do we kick the discounting habit?’. The panellists, ranging across wholesale, fashion and apparel and general merchandise sectors, established a consensus view that discounting for its own sake, without a clear strategic goal and tactical execution, could be more damaging than beneficial to the bottom line – as was also arguably seen more recently with some of the more negative sentiment generated around Amazon Prime Day, as well as Black Friday.