First out of the blocks in a sprint, it has to be an advantage. Imagine then jumping the gun with the starter’s permission. That is Monaco at the beginning of January, well positioned indeed for its sales which will last until February 15th. Out of the blocks with its discounts well ahead of its French cousins whose sales start on January 9th; and Monaco has a very short head-start on our Dolce Vita neighbours in Italy, too.
Carla with her boutique, kitty corner, to the Metropole shopping Centre takes full advantage. She courts her French and Italian clients with appetizing discounts of 20% to 40%.
Then there are some buyers where the timing of the sales falls just perfectly. Massimo took a big hit to his finances just before December. A difficult divorce settlement left him short at Christmas. Even more than ever now he wants to spoil the kids. Their mother Fiorella had her turn with their children over Yuletide so this very early sale means Massimo has a small window to stretch his euros and still treat them.
Not all stores end up ahead of the game after reducing their prices. There has been an onslaught of sales, waves of them, some novel to Europe like the copycat Black Friday sales in November (they originated in the US with their major Thanksgiving discounting tradition). Deep discounting can threaten to depress margins to alarming levels. Losses mount up. Retailing has its casualties as well as its winners.
There are two sides to every coin. Some of the shoppers are punch-drunk from incessant offers over the internet. The internet has been a game-changer. The big expected January sale in local stores is no longer the unique special event of the year. This constant bombardment of internet offers changes the psychology of shoppers. Some are convinced now they can bide their time.
Monaco has one major advantage. It is an incomparable attraction. It’s fun to shop in Monaco. It’s fun to be part of it. It’s fun to watch as well as buy. It’s fun to be seen, to have a day out. It’s an entertaining part of life that the internet just cannot duplicate. Monaco is also a mecca for luxury buying. And who doesn’t like a deal, no matter how fat the wallet.
I bought “it” in Monte Carlo has a panache, sale or no sale – it’s a brand in itself. And the brand begets the big brands. An opportunity to buy a luxury brand at a discount, and an opportunity for the brands to de-stock prior to introducing their new lines for the spring.
“Shop till you drop” is the retailers maxim this January. Dropping prices on the right items just might make their dreams come true – and the shoppers’ too.