Monday, August 9, 2010

Buying Now for School?

Since July 4th weekend one of the large national stores has been advertising summer lay-away as a method for purchasing children's school supplies.

These advertisements are variations on this scenario:

Mom is leaving the house and in the yard she passes dad and the children. They are in summer clothes and dad is doing something like blowing up pool toys. Mom says that she is going to the store in order to purchase school supplies on lay-away. Dad is surprised, but says what a great idea that is.

This ad is wrong is so many ways.

Any mom with half-a-brain knows that once her children enter first or, maybe, second grade, she will be unable to successfully pick out anything for school for her children by herself. Whatever mom picks out will be the wrong brand or color or style or...something.

Additionally, if the item does prove to be currently correct [not likely], it will not be correct by September. Children's peer groups are fickle and powerful.

Lay-away now for school?
Not likely.

These advertisements are missing something else by sending mom to the store alone. If the children go to the store with mom they will invariably choose something that is more expensive than what she would have chosen and the items the children choose will not match any sale item or any coupon that mom possesses.

I'm not saying this summer lay-away isn't good marketing from the store's point-of-view. First they will sell the first set of school supplies during the summer. A week after school starts - and all the items have been unpackaged and used at least once - mom will be returning with the children to buy the "correct" ones. [See above: Children's peer groups are fickle and powerful.]


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