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Industry Voices : The Art of the Possible

Address price-roaming instead of worrying about showrooming

January 2013 By Peter Weedfald
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Let’s take a look at how Kohl’s handles price-roaming. Throughout its stores, the retailer uses electronic price tags. Based on whatever reason arises—competitive pressures, new opportunities, increasing the average ticket, etc.—Kohl’s can change pricing for each SKU on demand. Kohl’s has leveraged price-roaming to its advantage, instead of constantly fretting about what to do about showrooming.
To understand and take advantage of showrooming is to understand that the consumer is constantly seeking and demanding an equal purchasing playing field in-store and through the big buying cloud in the sky. Bravo to Kohl’s for leveraging a very consumer-centric approach to sales and for practicing P&L smarts. All brick-and-mortar retailers can execute the same change-agent process as a way to compete, drive traffic, and grow sales and profits. Speed to price parity is now Kohl’s weapon of choice in their retail environment, just like Amazon practices in the cloud.
Kohl’s effort to deliver competitively matched pricing has had an immediate and positive impact on its business. The retailer recently announced plans to hire 52,700 seasonal workers this year, a 10 percent jump from last year. It also plans to hire an average of 41 full-time workers per store, a four percent increase from last year. The company also plans to hire 5,700 seasonal employees at its distribution centers and another 30 seasonal positions in credit operations.

Smart shoppers seek smart price-sensitive retailers. Clearly, when retailers meet fair and equal price expectations, consumers will help retailers meet their expectations for success.

Peter Weedfald is president of Gen One Ventures and the author of Green Reign Leadership.


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