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Shoppers Still Bargain Hunting

The recession got customers used to discounts, and stores are scrambling to recover.

June 13, 2017

​LOS ANGELES – Once a bargain shopper, always a bargain shopper. That’s the lesson the recent recession is teaching retailers as stores continue to struggle to overcome the discount mindset, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More consumers adopted discount shopping during the Great Recession, but despite an improving economy, many have yet to return to paying full price. “We’ve conditioned consumers especially coming out of the recession for promotions and discounting,” said Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist at the National Retail Federation.

Technology has assisted bargain hunters, with apps, browser extensions and websites that will find deals, coupons and sales. It’s a cycle that perpetuates itself—shoppers got used to bargains, retailers that hiked prices experienced dismal sales, and consumers got more discounts. Clothing has been the hardest hit by this trend, especially as Amazon.com has entered the fashion industry full throttle.

Kleinhenz recommended retailers provide shoppers with more incentive to purchase outside of sales, while others pointed to a combination of better analytics on how to discount and developing a better online offering featuring low-priced items.