Press Release – Specials This Week
Householders grow increasingly irritated by the weekly avalanche of junk mail that is put in letterboxes, and is often blown all over the garden and the street by the wind, according to the partners behind a new Web-based venture.Be gone accursed junk-mail
Householders grow increasingly irritated by the weekly avalanche of junk mail that is put in letterboxes, and is often blown all over the garden and the street by the wind, according to the partners behind a new Web-based venture.
In their view, junk mail leads to three social problems: the retailers’ expenditure has to be built into the price of consumer purchases; the importation of the necessary paper and inks is detrimental to the health of the national economy; and a large proportion of the promotional literature is regarded by its recipients as ‘junk mail,’ and ends-up swelling the volume of garbage in the country’s landfills.
The partners explain: “This old-fashioned way of delivering ‘special offers’ began in the mid 20th century and, until now, has been unaffected by the fact that almost everybody has ‘gone digital.’ The cost of continuing in the same way, along with increasing resistance among householders, is the rationale behind our website, which aims to progressively reduce the volume of expensive, wasteful, and largely ignored junk-mail.”
The new website, launching on 02 June, enables consumers to choose a location – 15 areas of the country – and then view the specials on offer in a wide range of categories – in full colour.
Initially, the areas are Whangarei, Greater Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga/Mt. Maunganui, Napier/Hastings, Gisborne, Rotorua, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Greater Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, and Other.
An additional benefit of going digital is that house-bound customers need not miss-out on bargains. After clicking-through to a retailer’s website, they can get access from home, and usually can use electronic payment systems for making purchases. This is a boon for the elderly and handicapped individuals, especially in winter, and for the whole community during such events as flooding, blizzards, fuel shortages, transport strikes, and temporary incapacity.
The beta version of the website is being launched with the co-operation of retailers in North Shore City, enabling retailers and consumers to test the system and make suggestions for additions and enhancements.
The partners say that a continuing development process will bring an additional reason for visiting the website from July onwards – a feature designed to help retailers in showcasing their specials even more effectively, while enabling prospective purchasers to gain rapid understanding of the purpose, functions, and aesthetics of products available at discounted prices.
Launched on 02 June, the website can be found at www.specialsthisweek.co.nz
The site owners are Beverley Reynolds and Barry Prince, both residents of North Shore City. Mrs Reynolds is an IT specialist, and Mr Prince is a former industrial journalist and Editor.
Mrs Reynolds says: “Retailers can now slash their outlay on printing and distribution, enabling them to pass-on big savings to consumers in the form of lower prices and more frequent specials. Additionally, many of the retailers offer facilities for on-line shopping, saving time and fuel for families in these hard times.”
Mr Prince adds: “Consumers are now able to go to a single source for the week’s bargains and, at the same time, help to stem the tide of junk-mail that flows into our mailboxes and is expensive – for retailers, for consumers, for the country’s import bill and, ultimately, for the environment.”
The website is wholely and solely focused on ‘specials,’ and does not accept general advertising.
It is not envisaged as being – or growing into – an on-line rival to Yellow Pages.
Retailers are invited to provide a PDF of their leaflet or brochure, in monochrome or full-colour, and that is what appears on site.
Regardless of what form of printed-matter is chosen, the standard fee for each 7-day period remains the same.
Every ‘promotional piece’ must have at least one special offer clearly indicated.
The opening page offers consumers a choice of area and then category of merchandise or services, then produce a list of ‘one-liners’ in the form of a menu. Choosing a line, and clicking on it brings to screen, the chosen retailer’s complete PDF.
Retailers are encouraged to put the address of their own website in their PDFs, enabling customers to click through to their site and view the full range of merchandise on offer.
The site offers equality – i.e. the shrinking band of independent (solo) retailers have the same opportunities as the ‘multiples’ in the shopping malls.
The standard ‘week’ is the period when most shops use specials to attract customers – from Thursday morning to Tuesday night – and, after that, all PDFs on display are then replaced by the offers for the following week.
Retailers without a shopfront – for example, craft jewellery makers or home-based health and beauty practitioners – are able to participate.