Like most people in retail I've been following the surge of social couponing, flash sales and weekly sale websites. The new millenium discounters all have the same thing in common. They take something someone wants to sell at full price and sell it for less. My feeling is they're in a no-win game. If something is worth a certain price it should command the price. If it's not, it shouldn't. And while there's a huge amount of attention paid to Groupon, Living Social, Woot and they can be quite flashy, in the end I think they're all a version of the old Val-Pak coupons (do they still come in the mail?). They're just coupons. The way to a lower price is through innovation, not marking up to mark down. These folks are not creating value, they're reducing it. In time they'll fade. Here's some evidence for that: Groupon merchants aren't coming back.
Books have different prices. Magazines, too. Almost everything does. So why does every movie ticket at a given theater cost the same?
Your jeans drink 919 gallons of water during their lives. Levi's wants them to be much less thirsty.