Positive thinking

Bernard Eaton on shoppers loving a genuine bargain, even when times are uncertain

‘JFS was well worth exhibiting at again this year, even if visitor numbers felt a bit lower than in some years. It is human nature to worry and criticise, but it always helps to look on the positive side of things even during tough times. Don’t forget, they say that optimists are happier and live longer than pessimists,’ says Bernard Eaton, Greenwood Retail md.

‘A few weeks ago there was much media attention that the UK had fallen into recession, but far less that growth was likely to have returned in January. I know that this is a bête noire of mine, but it does damage consumer confidence. Even the most sanguine and cheerful soul is likely to be worn down by it all.’

‘Since Greenwood Retail’s foundation in 2002 there have been several recessions, wars and a couple of economic crashes. Despite this, there has been a reliable pattern of consumer behaviour during these periods. First, you see a sudden drop in footfall and sales as people start holding back, but that undeniable pent-up desire to buy builds and builds and, as we have proved time and again, people will spend during downturns once they are convinced they are seeing a truly special and genuine sales event. If you make your sale exciting and real, they will come to your event and buy your goods with a vengeance.

‘Our clients can testify that their Greenwood sales events generated sales ranging from 25% to 100% of their annual turnover, depending on the nature of the event and other variable factors, with high margin maintained in just 17 days of trading, even during economic and political turmoil.’

The company specialises in organising high-profile sales events on behalf of quality independent retailers, all over the UK and Ireland. Many of its clients are members of AIS and Minerva. ‘We utilise the most effective marketing methods and channels from traditional to state-of- the-art, including the new Greenwood Digital Marketing Campaign to ensure your maximum return on budget.’

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