In this holiday shopping season, retail analysts are bullish on the low price segment and expect it to outperform traditional department stores. From a consumer’s perspective, the appeal is simple: cutting-edge clothing, footwear and accessories sold 60-70% below department store prices.
As a result, the share of cheap clothes in shoppers’ closets has swelled to 15 percent this year, according to GlobalData, from 10 percent in 2008. Over the next decade, the share is expected to reach 18 percent.
And while large retailers such as TJX Cos. Inc. and Ross Stores dominate the segment, the discount retail model is a strategy that all specialty retailers can deploy. Here, Tricia Barglof, Executive Director of the Offprice Show, shares an overview of the event, which brings together retailers and brands every year.
WWD: What is driving interest in the non-price segment? Is it more than a small price?
Tricia Barglof: Competitive pricing will always be the driving force behind the success of the non-price channel, but it is not limited to low product cost. Some industry retailers still mistakenly believe that âoverpricedâ refers to inexpensive products or styles from last season. In reality, low priced products reflect the fashion of the current season and are simply designed with cost in mind. We like to think of the overpriced niche in the retail market where quality meets value. After overcoming the âoverpricedâ stigma, almost any retailer will find our industry to be a relevant buying strategy that, on some level, will bring additional benefit to their business through the creation of margins.
Offprice Show recently launched a new feature for Unique and Raised Merchandise called Boutique. What is considered âoverpricedâ is in a price range, and we’ve seen growth at the high end of the price spectrum, around $ 15 and up. Consumers are willing to pay a little more for a higher quality product, but still appreciate their savings on a normally expensive item.
The off-price is also a very fast channel, which means that the goods available today may be sold out by next week. Like shop owners or buyers of large retailers who must also capitalize on today’s and tomorrow’s offerings, shoppers are excited about the chance discovery of low-cost purchases. There is a unique urgency in our industry that drives consumers to buy before the next person stumbles upon their find, and it continues to drive prices down.
WWD: Can small retailers compete in the low price segment, especially against giants like TJX Cos. and Ross Stores? How? ‘Or’ What? What strategies are needed?
TB: Smaller retailers can still develop a competitive advantage over low price giants through several strategies. The best way to stay aggressive in the market is to keep buying products in the low price channel. With the rise of regional markets and online shopping options, it’s easier than ever to find the same products (or something very similar) that consumers find in low-cost chain stores.
At the Offprice Show, we saw an increase in personalized labeling among smaller stores. With the help of some vendors, retailers can add their own specially designed labels into the garment. This strategy gives customers the impression that they can only buy the product from that retailer’s physical or online store, instead of turning to Amazon or the overpriced giants for the same item.
Especially for small shops, VIP parties or pop-up events generate interest, grab the attention of consumers and retain customers. Dining experiences like these offer shoppers an exclusive experience that many big chains are still struggling to recreate. When paired with great customer service and great prices, small businesses can gain a greater presence in the market.
WWD: What can attendees expect to see and experience at Offprice this season?
TB: We have some very exciting seasons to come on Offprice Show. Our next trade show will be February 3-6, 2020 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. In addition to our growing Boutique section, returning attendees will notice that our Cash & Carry section has moved from the Venetian Ballroom to Hall G, or the wholesale floor.
A new offering focused on the beauty category will also be available for the February 2020 event in Las Vegas. We’ll reveal more details in the coming weeks.
The Offprice Show will once again host a New York Market Show at the Penn Plaza Pavilion on May 5-6, 2020. This hands-on regional event will give New York surroundings the opportunity to meet Offprice Show exhibitors from coast to coast. ‘other, in a manageable floor of 50 cabins.
Our online marketplace, Offprice365, will remain open all year round on Offprice365.com. New opportunities are posted daily on the website in various categories. Offprice trade fair attendees and retailers new to Offprice trade fair are welcome to apply in the marketplace to browse products, make appointments for an upcoming event and send messages to exhibitors directly through the platform.
WWD: Who are the exhibitors and the brands?
TB: At our next Las Vegas show, we will have around 450 exhibitors at the Offprice show selling clothing, shoes, accessories and more. Some notable sellers who will be showcasing the product are: Angie, Very Moda, Exist, Henry Ferrera Footwear, Project Red and Fifty Street. Our exhibitors will have a selection of private label products and branded merchandise.