Here they go again.
Time for this season's first to blink contest.
And the winner is ...............
SAK'S FIFTH AVENUE!!!!!!!!!
After enraging the retail community last fall by doing markdowns +40% off in October (?!?), here comes the first, in recent memory, idea of pre-Easter promotions.
They are not the only one's doing crazy discounting.
As the previous article stated, Macy's is doing 80% off (and still have tons of inventory) without success, but at least that is Fall merchandise.
Nordstrom moved its annual June Half-Yearly Sale to early-MAY.
And just about every retailer has maintained deep discounting on their websites, which are fall less scrutinized by the analysts covering the sector.
Well, I guess that's good news to the few people that seem to be in a shopping mood these days.
The troubling reality of all this is, mid-April begins the slow selling cycle for retailers, bottoming out in late-June through to early-August, at which time Back-To-School necessities bring shoppers back to the stores.
Woefully sales figures thus far, early discounting and bigger inventory levels than 4th quarter 2008 continue to plague the industry. This is the start of failure season, when you will start to see companies filing for bankruptcy, liquidating and doing lay-offs. This happens because they understand the cycle and do not have any prospects for HUGE turnarounds for the next 6 months.
The stores are thinking of helping the customers that walk through the front door of their establishment. However April marks a stark shift in planning and resource allocation in the minds of the Executive and Merchandising teams at 90% of retailers: 4th Quarter!
The stress being a little higher for this year's buy than any other. Mostly because, to the merchant teams who have the unenviable task of figuring out what you and I want 6 months from now, and more importantly, what we will pay for it, the reality is....
Get it right this year or their company more than likely will not be around in 2010.