Overtreating the symptoms to force a cure, or, more on Groupon
The smart shorterexcerpts has a theory about why stock-market types are super-into coupon sites right now:
A more serious, and distressing theory as to all the coupon sites’ popularity:
The recession is worse than most in the political media (and certainly most politicians) wish to admit, but retailers are struggling, big-time.
So anything that will get people to spend money is getting investment cash thrown at it.
I think there’s something to this! I don’t know how many readers of mine subscribe to retailers’ mailing lists, but I’ve noticed quite a surge in “deal of the day” emails from the likes of LOFT and the Gap this year—like, every day there’s either a “bunch of stuff for $10” or “25% off everything” email. It started seeming sorta desperate sometime around March, and now it’s just sad. But it also parallels the rise in dollar stores, discount stores, outlet malls, and the like. Do people now have to feel like they’re getting a bargain in order to part with their money? Will the increased volume of purchases make up for the lost markups from wholesale to retail? (My gut answer for that last question is “nuh-uh.”)
(And how does this speak to Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci”? Is the assumption there that the “basic bitches” are either getting their brand-name items at a discount or buying those items that are the lowest-end branded offerings—glasses, keychains, etc?)