|Wed Oct 31 2012 00:03:52|
Beware of Targeting Storm Shoppers
By: Ina Steiner
As EcommerceBytes reports in Tuesday's newsletter, American Apparel caught flak for running a promotion for seemingly making light of Hurricane Sandy. The promotion read, "In case you're bored during the storm, 20% off everything for the next 36 hours - offer available: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virgina, Maryland, Rhode Island - Just Enter SANDYSALE at Checkout."
The promotion was likely targeted at those who were forced to stay home - almost everything was shut down in Eastern Massachusetts where I live, but unless you lived in coastal areas, power outages were the biggest concern except for freak accidents like trees falling on cars or houses. Surely the promotion wasn't targeted at people forced to evacuate their homes.
Glam Media had no problem with the concept of storm shopping - "It's never too stormy to shop online," it blogged, and pulled together a list of "all the ways you can save while bunkering down during Hurricane Sandy." And Racked National blogged "Dealing With Sandy: 15 Sales to Shop While Weathering the Storm."
Other retailers ran storm promotions (Urban Outfitters told shoppers to use the code ALLSOGGY when checking out on Monday), but members of the Twittersphere criticized American Apparel, and bloggers and media outlets made hay. With pictures of the devastation particularly in parts of New Jersey and New York and with the death toll rising, it's easy to spark outrage.
What do you think of promotions that capitalize on current events like hurricanes? Haven't we all learned from Katrina? Or are folks on Twitter becoming too self righteous?
Update 10/31/12: Sorry I didn't make it clear, Glam Media and Racked are blogs for shoppers, they are not retailers - so some media thought it was okay to promote storm shopping.