Are sale prices and bigger discounts on grandfather clocks and wall clocks and mantel clocks more important for retailers to offer now that the economy appears finally to be emerging from the recession. While many of the macroeconomic financial indicators are good, there are still an awful lot of people out there hurting in their pocketbooks. And while August retail sales showed some significant gains, even excluding the auto cash for clunkers program, the pain out there among consumers is still palpable.
As President Obama noted just today, it is unlikely that any significant new job creation will take place until 2010, based on the history and patterns for recovery from previous recessions. Sadly, employment is a lagging indicator of economic rebounds, a fact that never made much sense to me but always seems to have held true over the last periods of economic turmoil.
So back to grandfather clock discounts in the 4th quarter of 2009. We are still noting that clock shoppers at all price points are more price sensitive than ever before. We think that this new kind of smart consumer shopping is here to stay.
We always have grandfather clocks on sale, and many of our customers come to us telling us we have the lowest prices they have seen on the internet, or they have heard about the grandfather clock discounts we offer from their friends who have shopped with us over these many years.
Smart shopping is hear to stay. We are trying to adapt to this reality by continuing to offer highly competitive prices, but also by offering advice and overall customer service to our clocks customers that is second to none. Just today one of our customers decided to purchase a Ridgeway grandfather clock from us despite the fact that it was being advertised by the discount chain Sam’s Club at a much deeper discount. they knew that if there were a real problem, Sam’s Club would, in their opinion, likely be clueless as to how to handle the issue, at least compared to us.
Customer service, including educating consumers about their options, not even to mention offering many more choices, is a truly value add retail proposition. We know that our grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, and wall clocks customers appreciate and recognize that, and want to go where the expertise and best selection is. We are delighted that business dynamic still holds, and especially treasure our repeat customers. Also, in a landscape with ever-changing manufacturers, grandfather clocks by Howard Miller, as well as Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clock Collection, Hermle Grandfather Floor Clocks, and the Kieninger Grandfather Clocks all continue to have a special place in the high-end market. We expect that to be true for the foreseeable future.
Wall clocks by Howard Miller Clocks, as well as mantel clocks by Howard Miller and Ridgeway Clocks, and Hermle Wall and Mantle Clocks, Bulova Clocks of all types, whether they are mechanical or quartz, continue to have customers drawn to them because of their superior quality.
We do not want our grandfather clocks, wall clocks, and mantel clocks customers to have it any other way.