I mean, I get it. I know what they're trying to do. They're in the same field as those "99¢ Stores" and "Under $1" places. But there are two flaws in their strategy: First off, The whole appeal of a "99¢ store" is just that: everything is 99 cents. You can go in with a few bucks and leave with several things. It's almost like a garage sale, without worrying about whose feet those nailclippers touched last. What exactly is the appeal of a store that touts everything in their store as costing "over a dollar"? Sure it could mean some things are, like, $1.09, but it also means some might be $2.09, or $4.99, or $9.99. At that point they're really no better than any other store that sells low-end crap, so why bother?
The second point is simply this: it's a grim reminder of today's economic environment. Over at the Thymenage blog, Steve wrote about a similar phenomenon having to do with gumball machines and the inflation from 10 cents to 25 cents to now up to 50 cents plus, all for the same crap you got 15 years ago. Click here to read. This is similar to the trend we're seeing here: first the "Under $1" store, then the "99¢" Store, now the "Over $1" Store. I for one am putting my foot down here and now; I refuse to shop at any crappy merchandise establishment selling their cheap sub-standard goods for anything over a dollar! Join me, and we'll ensure a future free of overpriced knick-knacks and clothes hangars, knock-off batteries and plastic tools.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Got a Buck? Go Elsewhere
Throughout my many years in the publishing and advertising fields, I've learned and accepted this simple fact: clients and advertisers love to idiot-proof the hell out of their advertisements. "If we don't put the price 10 times bigger than the rest of the type, they'll think it's free"; "If we don't put our name and phone number 15 different places, they won't know who to call..."; "More color means more sales, add more color!" So it really cracks me up when I see marketing that completely abandons this concept. Case in point: I came across a store in a strip mall yesterday whose name pretty much said it all: "Things Over $1.00". Yes, that was the name of the store; it was not just a sign in the window, it was not in front of a single aisle; you have Target, you have Best Buy, and you have Things Over $1.00. Just the title alone made my eyes roll in astonishment, wondering what chimp got paid millions of dollars for that genius bit of marketing. But it's the implication that really gets me. Things over $1. They sell things that cost more than a dollar. Doesn't really leave much out, does it? I mean, does that imply that I can go in there and buy, say, a phone, or a pool, or a welcome mat, or a motorcycle, or a beret, or an air conditioner, or a couch, or a suit, or a python, or a calendar, or a shovel, or a hamburger, or a set of speakers? Last I checked these things all cost more than a dollar, so hypothetically I should be able to find any one of these items there. What am I supposed to expect to buy when walking into this store?
Finally, a true one-stop shopping experience