INCREDIBLE but true. Marketmen insist sales of the Akai colour TV, emperor of exchange offers, despot of discounts, slid from 49,000 sets in May to 33,000 in June to 30,500 in July. In the meantime, BPL has moved sales up from 52,000 in May to 56,000 in June to 81,000 in July. Of course, BPL has also cut prices, but nowhere near Akai levels. If you turn in your old 21-inch CTV, you can get a BPL 29-incher for Rs 24,000. An Akai one comes for Rs 7,000 less.
What happened? Aren't big discounts enough? And if bigger discounts are not enough, what is?
These are the questions that are haunting every consumer goods marketer in the country.
For, the times don't seem to be getting any less tough. Last week, were you by any chance at South Extension, one of New Delhi's smartest shopping arcades? A year ago, it was nearly impossible to find a parking slot here at sunset hour, peak shopping time. The joke going round was that retailers here worry more about parking than profits. But today there are more ushers than chauffeurs...