Retailers: You Can't Sell Luxury Goods Like A Used Car

By Bob Phibbs

More and more brands are opening their own retail outlets in an effort to make their brand stand out. But more importantly to control their image.

That’s why I was so shocked when I stopped into a new Rolex boutique and the greeting I received was, “How ya doin’? Which Rolex watch can I help you discover today?

Really? High-end luxury?

Who scripted this greeting?

But it got worse…

As I walked further into the 800 sq ft store, the woman said from behind the counter and to my back, “Just to let you know we are now offering 18 months free financing.”

“Uh, ok.”

Really? A store full of a million dollars worth of merch is pitching like it was a sofa or used car?

Jeez

Retail is ready for a major reboot – especially at the top end. So many brands are just sitting there hoping people will accept the crappy service and buy while telling their representatives to do better with no tools. Or in Rolex’s case, odd wording…

I had someone tell me recently if you were in Europe, you’d have to work for a watch store for four years before you’d even be able to talk to a customer.

What is it here in the states for 99% of retailers?

Fill out an application, watch a DVD on product, shadow someone for a day and do the same crappy job as the struggling retailers with 50%, friends and family, and BOGO promotions?

Come on people. It’s not brain surgery, its retail. It’s people. Not pads or tablets. And its not discounts – especially at the luxury level…

Bring the Bob Phibbs Experience to your store or checkout his Quick Guide to Selling Luxury Goods.

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