Excess Inventory Drives Discounting

Discussion
May 30, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The weather and the war in Iraq are blamed for stores saddled with an oversupply of merchandise. To turn product, many are resorting to inventory markdowns.


The net result, Todd Slater of Lazard Freres told the Associated Press, is “The consumer is going to be sitting pretty.”


The amount of time it took retailers to sell out merchandise increased to 1.6 months in March up from 1.54 months the previous year. “Even at Wal-Mart inventory rose 13.4 percent while total sales increased 9.7 percent in the first quarter.”


Moderator’s Comment: Is an oversupply of product and
the practice of discounting to move it more prevalent today than in the past?


Haven’t retailers always sung the “everything must go”
sales price blues forever? [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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