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Charity lures – Counting on volume

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In the face of tough prospects for the holiday season, retailers counting on promotional deals with charities to attract shoppers and generate volume traffic, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 4.

In cities such as Dallas, Denver, Chicago, for example, retailers such as Crate & Barrel and Polo Ralph Lauren are offering 20 percent discounts for a limited time to shoppers who buy a special $50 card from local charities.

And in New York, tens of thousands of shoppers on Sunday together spent more than an estimated $1.75 million in exclusive shops such as Armani to luxury pharmacy Zitomer that pledged 20 percent of their proceeds to the Children’s Aid Society.

The charity-related deals aim to bring in shoppers and make them feel so good about spending that they’ll spend more than they otherwise might have in the face of an economic slowdown and plunge in technology stocks, the Journal said.

And despite a related pinch in fundraising by charities, 61 percent of Americans say they likely would consider a company’s reputation for backing charitable causes when buying holiday gifts this year, up from 52 percent in 1997, according to Cone Inc., a Boston marketing firm.

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