loss leader

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loss leader (plural loss leaders)

  1. (marketing) An item that is sold at or below cost in an effort to stimulate other profitable sales.
    • 2014 February 22, Karen Stabiner, “Loss Leaders on the Half Shell”, The New York Times:
      Krystof Zizka, a co-owner of the restaurant, says he doesn’t make a penny on the oysters, though they are one of the reasons his three-year-old restaurant is so successful. ¶ The cheap late-afternoon oyster is to a restaurant what a liter bottle of Coca-Cola is to a supermarket: the loss leader that gets customers in the door, at which point they buy something else at full price.


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