Mélanie Faure 2:24 p.m., December 16, 2022
Inflation comes to thwart the purchases of the French for the end of year celebrations, with an increase of 6.2% over one year, according to INSEE.
When it comes to Christmas gifts, how do you find the best prices?
Private sales sites are doing well, but have to face increasingly tough competition from brands that offer discounts throughout the year.
Every morning, at 8 am, Marion clicks on the same application.
Veepee opens and she discovers the new brands of the day.
One of them, a telephony giant, has won the Holy Grail, the famous "Pink Card" of the day: for any purchase of a tablet, the brand offers a second.
The visuals are enticing, the promotions that scroll too.
On the side, the date of the end of the sale.
If she wants to get her hands on this leather shoulder bag or these high-waisted straight jeans, the young woman will have to make up her mind quickly.
Since 2001, Veepee has been selling products at bargain prices throughout the year.
End of collections or old collections, brought up to date several months, even several years later, thanks to these platforms.
Since then, many platforms have emerged, particularly in highly targeted sectors such as sport, early childhood, travel and cosmetics.
New shopping habits in 2022
The figures jostle: -51%, -62%, -20%, -75%... But is that enough to trigger the purchase?
“Private sales boost purchasing power,” explains Stephan Ploujoux.
"It's our DNA", admits the commercial director of Showroomprive.com, who is satisfied: the Showroomprive.com, The Bradery and Beauté Privée sites are growing.
They now list 20 million subscribers.
“Customers want prices, well-known and powerful brands, with a strong desirability index,” he explains.
"Offers are fleeting, so they have to be amazing."
Why is the private sale market not affected by inflation?
"We do not offer basic necessities, but pleasure purchases", recalls the commercial director of Showroomprive.
Pleasure purchases, but first and foremost "bargains", and this feeling of not being able to find them at the merchant next door that pushes you to click on the "Buy" button.
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But in the consumer market, competition is getting tougher.
In mid-November, France lived at the time of Black Friday and 11/11, the Singles' Day in China.
The end of "Cyber Monday", the stores have also started celebrating the holidays.
In the windows, garlands, lights and… promotions.
Discounts galore adorn the storefronts to attract buyers looking for the perfect gift to slip under the tree.
So buyers no longer know where to turn.
"I anticipated my Christmas gift budget for Black Friday", explains Manon, 28, to Europe 1 who met her in front of a cosmetics shop on rue Saint-Ferréol, in Marseille.
"I found really interesting promotions online and in stores" In Paris too, physical purchases are popular.
"I buy mainly on the sites of the brands", confides Roxane, 32, at the exit of a tea shop in the Marais.
"I don't have much time to go to the store. But I never go to private sales platforms because they don't have what I'm looking for."
Dominique, 68, shunned Black Friday.
And for Christmas, this regular at private sales preferred to make her gifts... in store.
"The problem is that the delivery time is very long, we never know when we will receive our purchases," she laments.
"I have no confidence," she adds, conceding however that the promotions are "very attractive", ranging "from -40% to 70%".
Black Friday traders
While private sales sites have made reductions their battle horse, in stores too, we have adapted to consumer expectations as Christmas approaches.
“Customers buy, but on a tight budget,” explains Lucile, manager of the Jules store in Les Halles, in Paris.
The men's ready-to-wear brand is offering 50% off the second item...until December 26.
"The offer works very well," she says.
"People systematically buy a scarf and the hat that goes with it, they can have fun. We would sell less without promotions."
And the frequentation of his shop testifies to this attractiveness: "People prefer to come to the store rather than buy online, they are coming out of two years of Covid and it shows! We feel that purchasing power has fallen, but our results are close to those of 2021."
© Melanie Faure/Europe 1
In this jewelry store located a few steps away, Sarah is delighted: the results are above the objectives.
“We have exceeded our objective,” rejoices the manager.
"We haven't felt the inflation at all. I think the coronavirus has boosted our sales! (laughs)" And for Christmas, his store doesn't offer any discounts, but the customers are there.
"It is true that people really like to buy online, but in-store purchases remain the majority", she confides to Europe 1. Like many brands, she pulled out all the stops for Black Friday this year, but does not hide his disappointment.
"We made -1000 euros over this period", laments Sarah.
"We sell better during the sales."
While many consumers preferred Black Friday to private sales, Stéphan Ploujoux assures us that Showroomprive was there.
"We were prepared for it," he said.
So the merchant slashed the prices even more.
"To respond to this new interest and to be attractive on the market, we asked our partner brands to make an extra effort."
If brands play the game, it is also to benefit from the visibility they enjoy by appearing on private sales platforms.
A 7.3% increase in the average basket
Is the recipe successful?
Showroomprive boasts of its stock market results.
"The machine is working well. Our company recorded an increase of 7% in the third quarter. We manage to emerge despite this context of economic crisis."
On October 20, the group announced a 7.3% increase in the average basket.
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The market in 2023?
Showroomprive does not plan on the comet.
“The world is changing very quickly,” Stephan points out, referring to inflation, the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine.
"We are hoping for a context of stability, with stock availability and a willingness on the part of brands to carry out promotional operations. The context is still tense with purchasing power, so the French are shifting their budget to good deals."
And to estimate, optimistically: "We are at the right crossroads."
The hunt for promotions should not weaken in the coming months: inflation could reach 8% in the fourth quarter in the major developed and emerging countries of the G20, before falling back to 5.5% in 2023 and 2024, according to the OECD.
What push consumers to monitor their portfolio even more closely.