Friday, November 28, 2008

Price cuts start early 

According to at least one article, the holiday season never started.
Piles of jewelry, clothing and electric drills are bypassing store shelves and heading straight to liquidators by the caseload as stores try to save as much cash as they can.

Major department stores and mall-based chains have cut prices up to 70 percent to move out mounds of excess inventory stuck in the pipeline since the financial crisis hit in September and people snapped their wallets shut.

Big moves of merchandise happen every year � but usually after Christmas. This year stores are desperate to shed inventory even before Thanksgiving.

...The deep price cuts even on luxury brands � think 40 percent off on $5,000 Chanel suits and 70 percent off on designer shoes at Saks Fifth Avenue and 40 percent off $695 Ralph Lauren leopard-printed pumps at Bloomingdale's � are only good news for the dwindling pool of consumers who are comfortable enough financially to take advantage of the deals.
The Wall Street Journal is keeping track of all the holiday deals, and the morning traffic appears to be up at any number of stores, but the degree of price-cutting may mean that high traffic doesn't increase sales revenues.

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