Smart Mobs In China

Smart Mobs are a rapidly growing trend in Asia.  If you don’t know the term, it is basically a group of people who arrange the meet up over the internet or via test messaging, and show up at a retailer at a specific time and use their number to negotiate a discount with the retailer.There was a story in last week’s “The Economist, which discusses a hot trend in China called “Tuangou” which translates to Team Buying (aka smart mobs).  In the story, a Tuangou group of 500 show up in Gomei (largest home electronic retailer in China) at 4pm on June 16th and negotiate a 10 ~ 30% discount for the group. Gomei not only closed the door to the normal customers but also prepared goody bags for these Tuangou shoppers.

Powered by the internet and an economy where haggling is a way of life, the trend is apparently spreading like wildfire.   What’s keeping this phenomenon from gtaking root in the US?  How would US retailers respond to it?

The Economist article is here


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