The Gap quietly launched something very interesting here in Vancouver. Something called Sprize. The mechanics of it are pretty straightforward. Apparently this is only in Vancouver at the moment.
This really is exceptional. Just the latest creative sales promotion tactic by the folks at Gap Inc. for their various brands. But Sprize is certainly the smartest.
Shopping has always been as much a psychological game as the utilitarian pursuit of buying clothes to protect our soft human skin from the elements. High streets are a consumer chess game where retailers try to get you to buy today something that likely will be marked down tomorrow. The Gap has become notorious for "wait till it goes on sale."
With Sprize The Gap is essentially calling their own bluff, saying that they know that your know that the starting retail price is just the first offer. And you negotiate with time by coming back tomorrow to see if it's marked down, or buying it today and 14 days later come back for a price adjustment.
With a Sprize account you almost look forward to paying full price to see how much money you "win" in your account. So now, not only does Gap encourage a sale in the present, you'll be coming back in to spend your winnings. Smart, smart, smart.
Pair this with their renewed efforts to elevate the fit and quality of clothing designs plus a badly needed re-invigoration of their retail environment. But realistically, those improvements are just moves to chase the more nimble brands that have been eating their lunch - Zara, H&M, American Apparel and Urban Outfitters amongst others. Sprize is a genuinely differentiating move in an increasingly commoditized category.
Going beyond a fresh coat of paint and slogan shows this old dog still has some tricks up its sleeve. Go on you.