Shops hike prices before a ‘sale’ 25 pc say its good for the economy

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: In this week’s online poll, the Arab Times asked voters what they believe are the effects of sales and promotions of goods on consumer spending. Retail stores and supermarkets selling all sorts of commodities have put up sales signs for up to 50 percent and more all around the country the past couple of weeks, urging consumers not to miss out on the opportunity to spend at ease.

The majority, 58 percent, is of the opinion that shops hike up prices before a sale and, therefore, do not benefit consumers or that sales are a way for companies to dump less desirable goods on consumers.
Speaking to the Arab Times, many interviewees of the expatriate community expressed their concern with the rising costs of commodities. “Sales and promotions are of little significance when compared with the rate of inflation, high cost of living, and lack of salary increases,” they opined.

Respondents added that sales and promotions tempt consumers to purchase “desired but not needed” goods, such as fashion updated clothing and trending electronics, distracting them from the realization that prices of basic necessities such as food are also on the rise. Shops force consumers to buy things they don’t need, said 17 percent of the poll voters.

“After a shopping spree during times of sale, I still notice that I’ve spent more than I could afford. My wallet and credit card are crying out loud. The retail shops know how to tempt you to keep buying and without realizing it the prices pile up and you end up paying more during sales than you would otherwise,” said Amal, who describes herself as an “average shopaholic”.

Meanwhile, 25 percent of the online poll’s respondents have a more favorable view of sales and promotions. They believe that those initiatives by retailers are a good opportunity to acquire good products for low prices. Interviewees explained that, due to the high costs of living, any kind of sales and promotions, even if they reduce prices by very little, are significant in the long run.

“As the sole breadwinner of a household of two adults and three children, any sale is quite beneficial for my budget considering the high costs of schooling and day-to-day expenses,” commented Salim, who is an account manager at a car rental company.

The 25 percent also opined that sales and promotions are good for the economy in lean times, and ultimately benefit both the seller and the buyer. Retail shop keepers further noted that “consumers have been spending less and less the past few years, worried about savings and future expenses. Retail shops are forced to hold regular sales and promotions in order to entice the consumer to buy”.

By: Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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