Just because there have been incredible fall sales due to warmer than average temperatures, a weakening economy, high crude oil prices and subprime mortgage scares…don’t expect amazing Christmas markdowns.
According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, this isn’t a recipe or guaranteed win for consumers this year. Industry
watchers say in the past, high costs and poor inventory planning
gave retailers little choice but to quickly slash prices if the holiday
shopping season started slow.
After several years of retail mergers and low
interest rates, most large chains have stronger balance sheets this
year. Many retailers have taken steps to boost profit margins by
cutting staff to reduce labor costs and adding pricing and planning
software. Slowing sales growth since mid-2006 has curbed expectations
— and inventories.
"We don’t anticipate a lot of unplanned markdowns,"
said Scott B. Krugman, a vice president at the National Retail
Federation trade group.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without sales to
entice shoppers. But barring a meltdown in consumer spending, many
retailers believe they will be able to stick to carefully calibrated
sales promotions without resorting to panicky price cuts that siphon
Retailers may better weather lower store traffic this
Christmas by shifting more emphasis to their online business. Forrester
Research estimates online retail sales between Thanksgiving and
Christmas will rise 21% compared to a year ago as shoppers do more
Read the entire WSJ article: Holiday Sales, Sure — But Don’t Expect StealsSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40