Bloomingdale’s Invite-Only Sale

Department stores and luxury retailers may not seem the types to haggle with customers. But rather than advertise blowout sales, high-end stores that don’t want to soil their reputations now use more discreet tactics such as word of mouth. Salespeople will simply tell shoppers about ongoing sales without actually marking down price tags; some may even be willing to negotiate. Retailers also invite customers on their e-mail lists to peruse exclusive online sales, as in a recent 12-hour e-mail invite-only “b quick-online secret sale” at Bloomingdale’s (M), which offered 50 percent to 60 percent off.

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