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Poll results: Should companies give "employee discounts" to everyone?

23. You may not vote on this poll
  • Employee discounts are a benefit and only for employees to enjoy

    19 82.61%
  • Employees don't deserve special treatment - discounts for all!

    4 17.39%
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Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Employee Discounts

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State

    Employee Discounts

    I am a fan of Morning News Beat (www.morningnewsbeat.com), a daily newsletter on retail topics. One of today's thoughts struck a cord:

    "Employee Discounts Gain Traction In Various Venues
    The Wall Street Journal reported that “taking a cue from the nation's auto makers, a widening variety of retailers are extending coveted ‘employee discounts’ to all shoppers. Stores selling everything from computers to golf clubs are holding sales offering consumers the same price cuts they once reserved exclusively for their workers.

    The upside of the promotions seems to be that the allure of an “employee only” discount is believed to encourage consumers to buy more than they ordinarily do, and the sales generally are replacing end-of-season sales that would have taken place anyway. But there is a downside – angering employees who used to think that their deep discounts made them special.

    KC's View: Actually, we take the somewhat contrarian position that offering employee discounts to consumers is a surpassingly dumb idea – especially in the auto industry. While the promotion certainly has moved its share of cars, we wonder what the exit strategy is – once the promotion is over, if any shopper walks into a Ford dealership, it seems to us that any price higher than the employee price might be deemed too high.

    The American car companies that have taken this approach have made it about price, not value, not quality.

    It isn’t a coincidence that while the US car companies were embarking on this strategy, Toyota raised its prices – as if to say, “If you want a better car, you’ll find it here.”

    The foolishness of the “employee pricing” strategy may be less striking in other venues, but we think that it leaves the retailer with nowhere to go when the sale is over…and it is the retailer’s own fault."

    A couple weeks ago my girlfriend and I made a purchase at Pottery Barn. When we noted the price, one of the salespeople commented to us that she only worked there for the 40% discount given to employees. I suspect that is true of the part time workers in many of these stores. I remember when I worked in retail during high school, college, and for a time afterwards. Discounts steadily shrunk during those years. Bergners/Carsons/Boston Store once offered 40% on clothing. By the time I last worked there I think it was down to 20%.

    Are employee discounts something that should be given to all, or reserved for the employees?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    reserved for employees.

    The US auto makers are killing themselves. Do they think selling product cheaper will make them more profitable in the future? Will volume actaully increase enough to offset and discounts?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Every day is today. Yesterday is a myth and tomorrow an illusion.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    I think it is a gimick that people will forget shortly.

    It sounds more impressive than saying save 20% vs pay what we pay.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Dec 2001
    West Valley, AZ
    employee discounts for employees. its a perk...a fringe beneift. The overhead to provide the item is lower when sold to an employee who probably helped with recieving it, inventory, shelving, pricing, and selling anyway.

  5. #5
    Feb 2004
    Offering employe discounts to everyone is poor economic policy. It is killing the automakers. I heard somewhere that the US automakers get some sort of federal subsidy if they sell a certain number of vehicles. Anyone know if this is true?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries
    What do you mean French Benefits?

    Employee Discounts should be for the Employees. But I did look at Fords when they offered the "Family Plan." Kind of made me think I should've purchased a pick-up instead of the Subaru... then I looked at the gas prices and the mileage the Subaru gets. Changed my mind right quick.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  7. #7
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
    Aug 2001
    SERA Architects-Portland
    If Employee Discounts are for everyone then they really aren't "Employee" discounts, right? The concept seems like a total scam to me and especially coming from the automakers. Sorry to be skeptical.

    I work part time at a retail store and we get people who complain that something went back up to its normal price after being on sale for a couple of weeks. And my reply is always the same: "If it was on sale all of the time, it wouldn't be much of a sale anymore, would it?"

    Maybe I'm just missing some very basic concept in all of this....

  8. #8
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
    Quote Originally posted by prana
    If Employee Discounts are for everyone then they really aren't "Employee" discounts, right? The concept seems like a total scam to me and especially coming from the automakers. Sorry to be skeptical.
    I share your skepticism. I'm now seeing ads for all sorts of retailers (furniture, electronics) offering the public their employee discounts. B!@#$hit!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
    Dec 2003
    The only reason I worked at McDonald's was to get the employee discount.

    Oh it was free when no one was looking

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Emerald Coast
    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    The only reason I worked at McDonald's was to get the employee discount.

    Oh it was free when no one was looking
    You received a free desk fort from your current employer. Best desk fort ever. ZG says that's a hell of an employee perk (did you forget the free panties?).
    Habitual Offender

  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Oct 2001
    Funny you all should bring this up. I've been walking around the office the last month telling citizens that we are offering them the employee discount on all building permits - for a limited time only. I've only had two fall for it.
    el Guapo is a former 20 year +/- urban planner (just like you) who thought becoming an attorney was a good life choice.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian H's avatar
    Feb 2003
    I have thought about this lately becuase the first of this I saw was with GM. I actually get the GM 'A' buyer discount that was passed down from grandad. I will be the last generation to get that I understand as I cant pass it along. So anyway, at first I was like, "dad gum, why should all you som bitches get a discount. I bet that p's off the employees". Then I thought, "well, I guess it is share the dicount or lose the job", and I am sure they would rather have no discount than no job.

    PS. Why do the car commercials show the few engineers in the cool Detroit suburban lab inventing a Hydro car or something and not the actual nasty reality of maquiladoras south of the border and the vacant brown fields downtown Detriot or Flint, or anywhere else.... hmmmm ?

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