Banana Republic was offering 25 percent off all full-priced merchandise on Saturday. That means that nearly the entire store was on sale. Bloomingdales had special coupons good for what equated to 20 percent savings on top of what was already on sale in much of the store, at savings of 40 percent off.
It didn’t take long for retailers to take action to ensure they weren’t left with huge quantities of leftover merchandise this holiday season. And the strategy of buying less inventory seems to be paying off as inventory in both stores was picked over, and sizes in some clothing I was interested weren’t available (Banana Republic did say they’d be getting another shipment in this week).
Retailers everywhere are marking goods down to move them out, and ensure they don’t get stuck with excess merchandise post-Christmas.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
With only 2 weekends left in the holiday shopping season (can you believe it?), it’s time to begin marking down every piece of slow-moving merchandise to ensure you’re not stuck with it after the holidays.
Taking a graduated discounting approach makes the most sense to preserve as much profit as possible. Try 25 percent off this weekend, and move the discount up to 35 or 40 percent the weekend before Christmas is the merchandise still isn’t moving.
And don’t forget to alert your customers through Twitter, Facebook and email campaigns, as well as with clear signs in your store windows and on fixtures as well.
Customers are looking for deals, and retailers are happy to oblige. You’re going to lose out if you’re not playing the discounting game at this point in the holiday shopping season.
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