The Warehouse managed to get loads of publicity about the story of getting a request from the Chinese Embassy, recalling their tent stock from the branches and selling them to the Chinese at a substantial discount.
This sort of fits in to my previous story about getting great mileage from a PR opportunity. The NZ Herald gave them a nice story and they even got coverage with TVNZ.
I don’t want to pick on The Warehouse, (note there is no mention on their website, an opportunity missed) they did a nice thing, but lets look at the opportunity from a business and marketing perspective.
First it is autumn and the likelihood of selling more than a handful of the 1200 odd tents before spring is negligable, so they become aged stock, take up valuable room in their stores or their warehouses which costs money.
There are only 1200 of them and they probably paid next to nothing for them. The heavily subsidised price would probably be similar to their FOB and holding cost and the Chinese Embassy probably did them a huge favour.
Wouldn’t it have been better to do a big song and dance about their benevolence and GIVE THEM to China. They can write it off as charitable donations and win huge favour from the Chinese community. The additional business and goodwill they would have generated would far outway the small cost of these items. Now that would be newsworthy!
Bottom line, nice story but could have been far better for them. Also a thought for the people of the Sichuan Province in China. I can’t comprehend the devastation those poor people have suffered. Speaking of PR, what a difference between the way the Chinese Government handled this situation and the disgusting situation in Myanmar.