Extracted from Croydon Town & Around magazine from April 1969.
A New Kind of Shopping
Imagine seeing a handbag you like, let us say at a bargain price of £4. You know that it is exceptional value for money, so what do you do? In any normal shop, assuming you could afford it, the bargain would be snapped up instantly. But supposing you knew that in 12 days its price would be reduced by a quarter, that a further 6 days would see it at half its original price and if still unsold 6 days after that it would cost you a mere £1! Would you buy it or wait?
If you are like me and you know a good thing when you see it, you’d probably buy it in the first place. But this is the torturous decision facing housewives who shop at Allders recently opened Automatic Bargain Basement. For this is a type of shopping new to this country, a sort of all-year-round sale. Here’s how it works.
Merchandise is specially bought for the department. This is mostly accomplished by end of season lines, clearance lines from retailers and manufacturers. The items are then marked at the lowest possible price, and dated. After 12 selling days the price is reduced by 25%; after a further 6 days the goods are then reduced again by 25% of the original selling price. Then after another 6 days they are reduced yet again by another 25% of the original price, and when the total of 30 days has elapsed, if the goods are still unsold they are given away to charity.
All types of things are sold from lingerie, sports clothes, millinery, shoes, hosiery, gloves, knitwear, men’s clothing, boy’s and children’s wear, leather goods, women’s fashions, furnishings, men’s suits, overcoats, lamps, linens, rugs, hardware, kitchenware etc. Prices can range from a few shillings to £’s.
Every day of the week different items will be selling at different price reduction stages owing to the different replenishment times of the goods, so that each day will be a bargain day.
Once customers become used to this new kind of shopping Allders are certain that they will be keenly watching their advertising in order to get the bargain they are after at the price they want to afford.
If the articles are priced right at the beginning, they must sell, otherwise Allders’ loss will be our local charities gain.
Originally written by Gwen Day
You can read more about the history of Croydon in our magazine by visiting the link at the top of the page. We are hoping to relaunch this in the near future.