Retailers are announcing steeper than ever discounts as they
prepare for the holiday shopping season. Many stores will
be open for longer hours than earlier years; and some will be
open on the Thanksgiving day for the first time.
The shopping season is shorter this year and the competition is
more intense as retailers battle for consumers' dollars. Many
retailers have warned about the impact on margins as they try to
keep pace with their competitors' promotions.
Retail sales numbers released yesterday clearly indicated
consumer spending may not be bad this holiday season. High-end
segment of retail in particular is doing quite well, though the
low end still remains somewhat challenging.
A rising stock market and higher home prices have resulted in a
"wealth effect", encouraging consumers to spend more. A healing
labor market and cheap gas prices have further boosted their
ability to spend.
I think that this will be an excellent holiday shopping season
for consumers but a challenging one for some retailers with
increasing pressure on their margins.
Do you think that shoppers will emerge as the winners in the
price war between retailers this holiday season?
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