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Online retailers now target drunk shoppers

Calling all buzzed shoppers?

It has long been suspected that retailers hope for post-happy hour consumers to make impulse buys, but several recently told NYT that they are now engaging in sales at times that are more likely to have shoppers with lower inhibitions due to alcohol.

Gilt Groupe is one of the hottest online retailers right now, possibly due to their understanding of their core demographic. Gilt Groupe President, Andy Page said they are adding more late-night sales after 9 p.m. because “post-bar, inhibitions can be impacted, and that can cause shopping, and hopefully healthy impulse buying.”

The Times reports, that eBay’s “busiest time of day is from 6:30 to 10:30 in each time zone. Asked if drinking might be a factor, Steve Yankovich, vice president for mobile for eBay, said, ‘Absolutely.’ He added: ‘I mean, if you think about what most people do when they get home from work in the evening, it’s decompression time. The consumer’s in a good mood.’”

Neiman Marcus has been offering a limited-quantity sale on fashions at Neiman Marcus at 7:38 p.m. while three-day stays at Loews hotels have been on sale at 8:44 p.m. Likewise, Gilt has been running a promotion for macaroons and faux-fur blankets at 2:23 a.m. and offer by Saks for a $2,000 gift card with purchase.

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All of these sales happen at two magical times – just after happy hour ends and buzzed professionals are making it home and taking off their blazers, and after last call at 2 a.m. with enough time to get home and click “buy” on an impulse item.

The Times reports, “Amanda Schuster, a wine-and-spirits writer and consultant in Brooklyn, says she never shops in actual stores after drinking, but she finds it hard to resist the Web. “It feels productive in a way — like I didn’t just come home drunk and pass out, I went home and did something,” she said.”

The problem with drunk or even buzzed shopping is that it can easily be forgotten and a drained bank account is the last thought on a buzzed mind. On the other hand, it is kind of like getting a surprise birthday present on your doorstep from you to you on a day nowhere near your birthday. So, happy un-birthday, drunk shoppers, retailers are waiting for you.

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