This holiday season, it seems what people really need is a deal. A few years ago, Best Buy famously fired its most aggressive deal-seeking customers, some of whom were loading up on loss leaders and selling them on eBay. So now the winning retailers are making a better effort to understand and support deal-seeking behavior without letting it undermine their profits. Every retailer will use discounts to attract traffic and move stale inventory, and the retailer that makes customers feel thrilled that they got a great deal will benefit most. Competitive discounting has to be a part of every retailers' long term strategy.
NY Times: Instead of Fighting Ad Leaks, Some Retailers Embrace Them. 2007-Nov-21, by Michael Barbaro
With consumers uneasy about the economy, the only thing worse than having a retail circular leaked to the [discount-tracking web] sites, it seems, is not having it leaked to the sites, whose popularity and influence have soared since they first materialized in 2003. When Bfads.net, the most popular of the Black Friday sites, did not immediately post a circular from Pacific Sunwear earlier this month, an employee at the clothing chain made clear how important the site was to the company....
Brad Olson, who runs Gottadeal.com, said Web-savvy retailers now see sites like his “as free advertising.” For regional stores, Black Friday Web sites provide a rare chance to compete head-to-head with bigger chains.