Posts Tagged ‘renminbi’

The Sale Must Go On

The other morning I went to this Christian Dior bargain sale supposedly filled with merchandise up to 70% off retail.  Last year’s sale was quite good and I got a suit, a few tees and a pair of pants.  This time, 30 minutes after opening the room was already jam-packed with bargain hunters, and there was already a line of about 50 people eagerly waiting to get in.

This year the Dior Homme selection is pathetically scarce.  It looks very much like an outlet sale of leftover items either too loud in color (shocking pink and red), or off-season merchandise.  Women seemed to have better luck scouting for dresses and handbags.  Although I waited in line for an hour, it only took me 15 minutes to finish reviewing the men section.  There was nothing wearable.  I found one suit I really liked and it fitted me extremely well, but there was no pants included.  What did they do with this supposedly 2-piece suit (the tag says so)?  Prices also seem to be higher than last year as well.  I was debating within myself whether I should get the suit jacket as a mix-and-match item, or maybe go to my tailor to have a pair of pants made up.  However once I saw the check-out line of at least a two-hour wait, I put the jacket back on the shelf and announced my departure.

I guess this is a good sign that this year’s economy is so good that they don’t have much items left for end of season sale.  Their HK$15,000 dollar tag is no longer one that needs pondering through.  Our mainland China brothers and sisters are forking out millions of renminbi because our rack rates are like 15% off for them due to the weak Hong Kong dollar.   Who need to wait for sales now? 

On the corporate level I am seeing all of us hurting because of the weak dollar.  The outsourced services I am buying has seen skyrocketed prices and it seems all I am doing lately is to negotiate down a price increase, NOT further discounts.  In procurement these days we are spending more and more efforts on these types of cost avoidance possibilities.  Our finance counterparts are skeptic about our achievement because it may not bring back bottom line savings to the company, but my view is that if we have done nothing, my clients could have paid 15% or 20% more.  This 15% or 20% avoidance takes loads of negotiation and bargaining efforts, but this effort very often goes unappreciated. 

Corporate buying is therefore quite different from personal buying.  For us we hypnotize ourselves of these mega sales and claim victory of the “savings” and bargains we get.  We work for it by standing in lines, researching on-line, exchanging shopping gossips through friends and on Facebook.   In corporate buying we have to measure savings scientifically off last purchased prices.  It works on repeated purchase items, but for the work carried out in sourcing and negotiating for newly purchased services and products, such methodology is not exactly a good reflection of our work.

Well well, in the meantime I am now heading off to another pre-sale event beginning tonight, all for myself!

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