In a Wall Street Journal article of November 15, 2013 titled “Shoppers Can’t Shake Blues,” trends in retail sales and price discounting are discussed, particularly with regard to the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Three notable excerpts include:
“No one is expecting the pie to grow rapidly, so the question is how do you get a bigger slice of it,” said economist Sung Won Sohn, who also serves on the board of teen retailer Forever 21 Inc.. “We’re going to see an unprecedented degree of promotions this holiday season.”
Sluggish demand through the fall has prompted retailers to turbocharge promotions with hopes of attracting shoppers away from competitors.
The holiday shopping period “is going to be about as competitive of a market as we’ve ever seen,” Wal-Mart U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon said. “Incomes are going down, while food costs, gas and energy prices—while abating—are still eating up a big piece of customer budgets.”
The above excerpts illustrate the intensifying price competition among retailers. Given a variety of economic and business dynamics, price discounting is a topic that will continue to gain prominence. As mentioned in the November 6, 2013 post, titled “Price Discounting Issues” :
Price discounting can be a complex subject, albeit one that will gain in prominence given a variety of economic dynamics, including anemic growth in incomes, continuing “deflationary pressures,” and increasing price competition.
While generalizations concerning price discounting are inadvisable, as pricing-related characteristics vary among companies and industries, it is important to realize the benefits and detriments of discounting, as well as its longer-term pricing and strategic issues. As stated in the “Price Discounting Issues” post mentioned above:
However, given the various economic dynamics mentioned above, as well as the continuing price pressures seen in many industries, these price discounting issues should at least be considered, if not actively acted upon, if they are not already being fully addressed.
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