More discounting = less value = fewer sales


Share on LinkedIn

A few weeks ago, I pointed out in a  that JoS A. Bank (the clothier) was inundating my inbox with more and more sales announcements. And I wasn’t talking about your typical 10-20% off sale for selected suits or shirts, no they were almost giving their product away – in this case it was a “BUY ANY SUIT at regular price and GET A 2ND SUIT FREE! Plus GET A SPORTCOAT OR BLAZER FREE!” sale. My point was as they discounted more and more, value was being destroyed. And for JoS. A. Bank, it would be a challenge going forward to convert loyal customers like me back to paying anything close to the full, listed price.

After looking at today’s ad, it seems clear that not only are the sales continuing, but the discounts continue to grow. Why buy one suit and get two others free, when you can wait a few weeks and get an even better deal? The problem with this is obvious. Whereas three weeks ago I was reluctant to ever pay full price again for a suit, I’m now reluctant to even pull the trigger on any sale because if I wait a few weeks, the discount seems to keep getting larger. JoS A. Bank has now conditioned relatively loyal customers like myself to just wait (until a even better offer arrives in my inbox) before I buy another suit again.

Here’s the takeaway: In their quest to increase sales by offering customers larger and larger discounts, JoS A. Bank is well on their way down the slippery slope where this discounting leads to less, not more sales. It’s a course that will extremely hard to change, and one that has alienated a good portion of their previously loyal customer base.


Reader feedback is the lifeblood of this blog – whether you agree or disagree with what you’ve read, please feel free to post your opinions in the comments section below.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Lefler
Patrick Lefler is the founder of The Spruance Group -- a management consultancy that helps growing companies grow faster by providing unique value at the product level: specifically product marketing, pricing, and innovation. He is a former Marine Corps officer; a graduate of both Annapolis and The Wharton School, and has over twenty years of industry expertise.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here