An on-line retailer that sells home and children’s items, such as children’s furniture, clothing, and toys, was
seeking a way to reach a new audience and stop the declining sales and revenue trends it was suffering. A market research firm hired by the retailer identified a new but potentially risky market: lower-income single parents. The new market seemed attractive because of the large number of single parents, but most of these households were severely constrained in terms of their monetary resources.
The research firm proposed that the retailer offer a generous credit policy that would allow consumers to purchase up to $500 worth of merchandise on credit without a credit check, provided they signed up for direct payment of their credit account from a checking account. Because these were high-risk consumers, the credit accounts would carry much higher than normal interest rates. The research firm believed that even with losses, enough accounts would be paid off to make the venture extremely profitable for the on-line retailer.
Should the retailer pursue this new marketing strategy? Why or why not?