Trade discounts

When Carl the Fishmonger opened his new shop three doors down from mine in Market Place, Sprodlington, I was quick to pop in and give him a welcome “Hello”

Wendy had reminded me that we had nothing in for tea and so having introduced myself as Derek Templeton from Templeton’s Hardware, I ordered some nice fresh cod from my new acquaintance Carl from his new shop “Fother’s Plaice” (how clever to play on words like that Wendy had said)

I thought I’d mention to Carl the idea of a “Traders’ Discount” as he wrapped my cod on the scales.

“Perhaps a mutual 25% discount for traders in Market Place?” I suggested. “I could always recommend this shop to my local and regular customers.” Carl agreed and at that stage I decided to change my order from cod to monkfish. He didn’t seem too upset at having to unwrap the cod and start again.

A couple of days later, Carl came to my shop and looked up as the clunky door bell announced his arrival.

” I need a couple of shelving brackets please Derek.” he said.

” You’re lucky” said I. “I have a great linksave offer with T Cut Metallic Colour Restorer” I probed tentatively.

“I’m just fine with the shelving brackets today thanks” said Carl showing me a puzzled look for the first time.”But I thought I’d support a fellow Market Place trader!”

I quickly remembered the 25% discount he had given me on the recent purchase of monkfish. In truth I panicked a little as I realised that I wouldn’t be quick enough to work out how to add 15% to the price before taking 25% off.

“The thing is” I stumbled, “I’m afraid I can only give you a 10% discount. My margins are lower than your fish, and I’ve had a really quiet week.” I lied. ” I guess most of my customers must have been visiting your shop instead. I’m sure you understand.”

I’m sure he didn’t.

2 Responses

  1. Ours is a nation of shopkeepers and I am pleased that Templeton’s Hardware is thriving in the face of competition from the B&Qs and Homebases of this world.

    I myself am watching carefully the economic and political situation. Like many others I am concerned that the Chancellor will increase the rate of VAT. To this end I have written to my newly-elected constituency MP, the surly-looking Neil Parish, urging him to think twice before supporting such a move and also setting out my reasons why ladies’ wear should be exempted.

    Good luck with your business and with your new blog.


  2. Dear Doris,

    How kind of you to wish me luck against the B&Qs and Homebases whilst also sharing with me your VAT concerns.

    There are two B&Q’s in Hull, and one in Bridlington so I do have to be careful with my pricing for those customers who I notice have a car when they arrive at Templeton’s Hardware.

    I am of course less careful with those customers who perhaps do not have a car, and therefore do not have to pay for petrol. They perhaps as a result, will have a little more disposable income to cover my amended price, if I have been succesful in peeling off the price ticket before they have it noted.

    In some cases I do go to B&Q myself if I note, what we call in the trade, a “loss leader”. As you know Doris, this is where the retailer sells a product below cost in the hope of driving footfall to other parts of the store. If I see a “loss leader” advertised, I borrow Malcomn Burridge’s van and fill up. I can then re sell at a premium in my store and make a little more profit.

    Is there much need for T Cut Colour Restorer in Appleton Marsh by the way ?


    Derek Templeton
    Templeton’s Hardware

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