At an Officeworks in Sydney’s CBD Monday I noticed this Check our prices noticeboard near the entrance. This is another strategy they use for pitching their prices and their price guarantee. If I was a newsagent nearby with lower prices in, say, ink, and if my lease permitted I promote in my window a comparison of my prices and theirs. I’d take it to them. But I’d use a twist: my promotion would be for last week’s prices and I’d note that we’re doing this comparison to show that our customers were the winners.
Officeworks spends a considerable sum of money promoting that their prices are lower and their LOWEST PRICE GUARANTEE. I would not be surprised to discover that the amount they spend on this price pitch compared to other businesses is inverse to where they actually sit in a price comparison.
Newsagents are often cheaper than Officeworks yet we do not tell the world about this. In some cases our leases do not permit in-store comparative promotion. But for the rest, why not? Some newsagents do but not enough. I suspect it is too hard. This is something a switched on industry association could do.
Several suppliers have conducted research over the years that indicates shoppers consider newsagencies to be expensive when price research indicates we are not. I was at a newsagency conference ten years ago where this was presented. Given the perception, why not a national campaign that helps newsagents promote their price position, a campaign showing the small business fighting back and competing with Officeworks and others. This would be good work for an industry association like the ANF to undertake – there’s no money in it for them but members would like it.
The Officeworks noticeboard reeks of ignorance but the average person entering their store would not know that. Newsagents nearby who do offer better prices need to engage. Yes, a fight with Officeworks could be challenging but, hey, what’s the alternative?