Stores Hope Everyday High Prices Attract

Nov 07, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Retailers such as Bath and Body Works, Federated Department Stores, Express and Gadzooks are adding high end, higher-priced items to their product mix in the hope consumers will view the stores as being different from competitors while simultaneously driving higher sales and profits.

The growth of discounters, especially in apparel, has driven dollar sales down as consumers opt for less expensive versions of clothing they’ve bought before. As a NY Post article put it, “Retailers now have to sell more items just to keep sales constant.”

Express, a division of Limited Brands, introduced Seven7, a line of designer jeans that sells for nearly twice what it costs to buy the store’s basic private label.

Pam Seidman, a spokesperson for Express, told the Post that the $80 Seven7 jeans give the chain “credibility in the designer-jean market.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will the same consumers buying cheap chic be willing to pay up for designer lines? What are your thoughts on trading up pricing
as a differentiation strategy?

Does anyone pay full retail anymore? Trading up is not unheard of in apparel, but there better be something incredibly special about jeans that cost $80
when consumers can get two pair of perfectly wearable other brand jeans sold in the same store for the same price.
Anderson – Moderator

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