Discount Designer Jewelry a Fashionable Indicator of Struggling Economy? Retailers Forced to Make Major Price Cuts to High-End Fashion Heading Into Fall Season

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Frugal flair seemingly is the new black as consumers nationwide start changing up their wardrobes for cooler autumn weather. According to Eric Freiberg – CEO of mega retail Web site SweepStreet.com – outlets are being driven to slash price tags due to a new unified push from fashion-savvy buyers.

Aside from what pundits thought in the past, the industry is waking up to the fact that we don’t sell a commodity product – we have to do something to enhance appeal on a daily basis.

Frugal flair seemingly is the new black as consumers nationwide start changing up their wardrobes for cooler autumn weather. According to Eric Freiberg – CEO of mega retail Web site SweepStreet.com – outlets are being driven to slash price tags due to a new unified push from fashion-savvy buyers.

“It’s no secret that we’re in an extended, shaky economic period with little certainty of its end,” Freiberg said. “Those – even after all the market has been through – who still are in a position to purchase what traditionally has been considered ‘luxury’ items… well, they now realize their leverage. The industry needs them more than ever.”

As a result, many fashion retailers are in a mad scramble to compete for what otherwise was always loyal, “sure business.” Major outlets now are implementing promotional tactics that once were shunned upon in high fashion circles. A number of posh wholesalers are spearheading gimmicks like flash sales, group buying programs and “limited time” campaigns – all efforts that some industry pundits once said cheapened the value. Still, fashion experts like Freiberg feel a change in the psychology of the industry was eminent.

“It’s now a rather sophisticated statement to land major brands on the cheap – it’s almost a competition between upper-end consumers of who can get the best for least,” he said.

In response to this trend, SweepStreet.com – which exclusively specializes in designer jewelry and accessories --- has incorporated sweepstakes into its marketing strategy. So far, the tactic has paid off.

“Aside from what pundits thought in the past, the industry is waking up to the fact that we don’t sell a commodity product – we have to do something to enhance appeal on a daily basis,” Freiberg said. “From my own experience, effective use of contests can prove to be extremely advantageous for businesses in this economy. We’re in an online world now. It’s simply a matter of finding the type of promotion that works for your business model.”

At any given time, SweepStreet.com runs three to six sweepstakes live on its site, featuring prizes that range from gift cards to designer accessories typically sold in the site’s online store.

So far, the sweepstakes model has offered multiple benefits for SweepStreet.com. Two of the most prominent are crossover sales (people entering a sweepstakes that end up browsing the site and ultimately buying product) and customer word-of-mouth advertising.

In fact, research shows that avid online sweepstake participants, also known as sweepers, are generally women between the ages of 25 and 50 – a prime demographic in the fashion industry. However, an increase in those who are struggling to make ends meet financially has significantly broadened this target group.

Freiberg said he soon recognized the similarities between the sweeper profile and the sort of customer fashion-at-large aims to attract.

“At SweepStreet.com, we decided to sell designer jewelry at highly discounted prices so we could appeal to just that burgeoning sector: women who love getting great deals on great products,” he said. “For us, sweepstakes was the obvious choice when it comes to capturing their attention and, ultimately, increasing awareness of our products in a tough economy.”

ABOUT SWEEPSTREET
Launched in 2011 and based in New York, SweepStreet is the collaboration of well respected jewelers and financial managers bringing a new concept to the online world: combining the accessibility to exceptional jewelry and the chance to win prizes with favorable odds. SweepStreet features brand name jewelry at highly discounted prices from recognized designers such as Judith Ripka, David Yurman, Gucci, Bulgari and more. With authentic jewelry and new merchandise for the sweepstakes, SweepStreet offers an unprecedented online shopping experience. Visit SweepStreet.com for more information.

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Hilary Brady
Bons Eye Marketing
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