Columnist: Bogos are Bogus

Sep 22, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Margaret Webb Pressler of the Washington Post doesn’t have a lot of closet space in her kitchen and she doesn’t like buy-one-get-one-free (Bogo) promotions because of

Turns out she’s not alone. Mona Doyle of the Shopper Report said, “Like most promotional ploys — and they are promotional ploys — they irritate some shoppers a great deal.”

While some consumers, such as Ms. Webb Pressler, are not fond of bogos, high-low format retailers see them as a tool to attract and keep shoppers.

Tom Gandolfi, senior vice president for center store merchandise for Giant said, “In some respects it locks people into your stores a little bit more because you’re filling their
basket a little bit quicker.”

“If someone [else] were to run a half-price special the following week, you don’t need it because you’ve already got two,” he added.

Bogos do have some drawbacks, even for the retailer, acknowledges Mr. Gandolfi. “There are many singles and small families in our marketplace — the average household is 2.3

Smaller households or those simply with restricted pantry space do not always want to buy two items. “A bogo can at some point in time depress your sales as well as increase
it,” Giant’s Gandolfi said.

Moderator’s Comment: What are the keys to successful promotions? Which types of promotions work best and under what

Margaret Webb Pressler isn’t the only one with space problems. We remember doing an interview with Nick D’Agostino a few years back and one of his gripes
was having manufacturers ship mammoth POS displays to his small New York City stores. Where was he going to put them?
Anderson – Moderator

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