Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chinese Retailing: The Glass is 5 Full

I spent the better part of the weekend analyzing Chinese retailing with the wife, an activity she likes to call "shopping". Something I found very interesting was that Chinese retailers have all these signs with single-digit numbers posted on the shelves. I will post a photo of one as soon as possible. These signs indicate the sale price of an item in 10% increments. WHAT?!?! So, if you see something with a 7 in front of it, it's 30% off. I suppose it's actually more clear to list how much of the price remains rather than how much is removed but I'm just not used to it. Also, I don't quite understand the lack of the trailing zero, but then again, there's no zero digit in Chinese anyhow.

We walk passed a store that had a 1 sign in the window (90% off!) and I had to go in to see for myself. Of course, there was only 1 item in the entire store which was truly 90% off (a hideous purple woman's coat). I wanted to know if I bought that item if they'd take off the 1 sign in the window. My wife refused to translate for me. Either she didn't want to be embarrassed or more likely she didn't want me to buy the ugly coat for her to find out.

Very clever. I love the title of this entry. I will also let a friend of mine know the term "analyzing retailing" for her to use because she does love to do that, although her background isn't marketing so she doesn't have as good an excuse as Tracy. Good for her that she refused to translate.
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