Changes in the law often present marketing departments with unexpected headaches.
Now that the bizarre German law relating to “Kaufzwang” (purchase obligation) has disappeared, German retailers can have sales whenever they want (as long as the goods on offer are genuinely reduced).
This is nothing new in many other countries, but in a country that was only allowed to rush like lemmings to the sales twice a year (the Winter-Closing-Sales or Summer-Closing-Sales), there are now sales popping up left, right and centre. No more closing sales (Schlussverkauf), just “sales”.
The only problem is, the Germans don’t have a word for sales, unlike the French with their soldes. According to my sources, a leading retailer in the south of Germany received tons of complaints and queries from confused shoppers, who wanted to know what “sale” meant (just as well this wasn’t Italy, where it would mean dirty).
The solution: use the traditional symbol around here: %. Next to “Sale”. And just to make sure: [reduced]. Poor Kaufhof, I wonder if this really will save them from insolvency.