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Why Do Grocery Stores Have Sales? (Exact Reasons)

By Ferdi Vol
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It is not a hidden fact that sales attract customers. When sales are given in grocery stores, people get very excited about it. Besides middle-aged shoppers, even teenagers with little money can finally make the best of it and buy their desired snacks and items during sales. But do you ever wonder, why do grocery stores have sales?

Grocery stores give sales for various reasons- sometimes to introduce new items; to give exposure to less popular products in their stores; to reduce excessive inventory. But sometimes sales are also given to sell the products that are almost expired; to get customers to buy more, and sometimes also to improve the reputation of their store.

Learn in detail about the various reasons behind why there are sales at a grocery store. It is important to know a few things before you get too excited about sales. Also, learn about why certain products are given out on a sale and not priced low instead. A few of the information may also be an eye-opener for you!

Reasons Why Grocery Stores Have Sales

Sales are great. Getting products at a lower price than usual sounds like a wonderful way to spend money. But who would not want to charge a good price for the products they are selling? Do you wonder why a business would sell some of their products at a discount? Here are some reasons why-

To Introduce New Products

Grocery stores get new grocery items every week. At first, they keep these new items in their stores with the hope that people will buy them and it will become known.

When that does not happen, to alert the customers, grocery stores often give sales. This makes a way for the new additions to get exposure.

To Bring Attention to Products that Generally Do Not Sell Fast

There are some products in the grocery stores that do not sell fast because of very little popularity. These are the slow-selling items. When a sale is placed, sometimes stores keep the slow-selling items near the sale products. And if the customers somehow have the attention of the product, they may buy it as the product is not bad, just does not have enough attention.

These products may also be put on sales directly, even though it would work less as they already are not known to people.

Nevertheless, giving sales in general helps products to not get wasted and thrown out. One way or the other, it is purchased.  

To Reduce Excessive Inventory

One of the big problems grocery stores or any store for that matter face is keeping products that have been bought in bulk. Sometimes due to lack of storage capacity, giving a sale becomes important for the products to sell faster and to save storage from overflowing.

Warehouses and storage need space as products keep coming in constantly at grocery stores. Thus, the sale helps in moving out the extra items they have.

To Sell Products with a Nearby Expiration Date

This is a similar problem to excessive inventory however it is a problematic kind of sales. When deals are given at grocery stores, they arrange the soon-to-be expired products with either a buy one get one offer, or even with good packaging to avoid having customers even care to look for a date.

When people find snacks with deals such as- one chips free with 2 boxes of chocolate cookies, people think of it as a win-win situation without concerning themselves about the reason why it must have been put there.

It is also sometimes seen that products with a further expiration date are tagged along with the soon to expire products. That way, customers do not get too concerned about it.

To Get You to Buy More Products

Most of the time, when people visit the grocery store, they have a list ready. Even with that, it is a common ordeal to come back home, buying more products than planned. Thus, during sales, grocery stores tend to keep the products in a mix-and-match situation.

For example, if there is a sale on hair color, and you notice a huge bottle of conditioner beside the hair color, you may not even care that the conditioner is not under a discounted price. All you will think about is, hair color always needs a hair conditioner for protection, and thus you may end up buying it.

In another scenario, if you are buying sanitizers that are on sale and you see tons of hand wash variations in the same aisle, you will end up buying at least one.

Sale products may also be placed at a further aisle that you have to get to while crossing other aisles. It is very natural for people to stop and buy products they see on their way. Stores do these tricks to grab your attention, so you end up spending more when you are there.

To Improve the Reputation of Their Store

Sometimes, with very good products in storage, grocery stores give sales anyway. It is to gain the trust of the customers. If a sales product works great, tastes great, and ends up satisfying the customer, there is a great chance that the customers will return even without sales in the store.

When customers have a good experience from a grocery store, there is a word-of-mouth advertisement the stores receive even without directly asking for it. Thus gaining popularity and also customers over time.

How Do Grocery Stores Decide What to Put on Sale?

These decisions are mostly known to be made by the manufacturers themselves before they send out their products to the stores. Sometimes the sales representatives of the manufacturing company represent these products for sale to corporate buyers 5-7 months before the products are given to them.

However, it can also be a decision made by the manager of the store himself. Once he notices that there are products that are soon to expire, they decide to put those on sale to at least make something out of them instead of having them expired or throwing them away and getting nothing.

Before Thanksgiving, people buy turkeys and once the occasion passes, people hardly prefer to buy it. But, if there are over-bought turkeys left, only then the stores are bound to make a sale and hope people buy it even though it is off-season.

The product selection for sales also is driven by the competitive market. When a store finds out that another grocery store is selling a similar product at a lesser price, they put sales to increase their demand and supply more.

Similarly, if there is a product that has gained popularity in the market, grocery stores get hold of those products and put sales on them to create more attention towards their store before other stores get it.

Why Can't Grocery Stores Sell Goods at a Low Price Instead of a Sale?

Already having low-priced products can be a good thing as well as a bad thing. If a grocery store has cheaper products, then it may be considered an affordable stop for people who have lower incomes.

However, when a grocery store starts to price their products low, the store may start to have a reputation that perhaps their products have a bad quality which is why they are cheap. If that reputation spreads, then comparatively, they will be lower in sales overall. Even people with low income sometimes save up to buy quality products.

Sales on the other hand is a yearly, occasional or every 6 months thing. This makes the customers not miss the opportunity to get a quality product at a cheaper price. Consumer satisfaction is met and the grocery store also reaches its goal on sales.

Also, sales are hardly meant to price things low for more supply. It is mostly for other reasons like- to get rid of products that are getting expired and products that are overflowing the warehouses. Keeping a clearance section is always a trick to have extra items sold. Thus, having sales is a better option than pricing goods low.

What Is the Reason Behind Marking Down Meat?

Most grocery stores receive meat every week. The processed meat or even chunks and fillets need to be sold quickly so that there is space for the next delivery.

When sales are given on meat, it does not necessarily mean they are about to expire. It can also mean that they are good and still fresh and the stores may be just looking to increase storage capacity. Storing food that needs cold storage is harder, thus selling away as fast as possible is better.

This causes the stores to mark the meat down. It increases sales even if the original price is reduced. It is much better than having to throw the excess meat away or storing it to eventually have it ruined.

A piece of advice on that case would be, if you buy discounted meat, you should store the meat in a zip lock bag deep in the freezer if you are not planning to eat right away. You can still use the meat for at least 3 months that way.

Sales are good for grocery stores and also good for customers. Once in a while, having to pay less for products that usually cost much more is a great deal for everyone. It ensures that products are not wasted but utilized.

However, I hope the reasons I stated in this article help you understand why do grocery stores have sales, so you can check before you buy anything. Furthermore, you can look for coupons even on the “on-sale” products. That way, even if the expiration date is close and you still want that product, you get it at a much lower price.

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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