Worst Holiday Sales in 40 Years
Holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years and will likely prompt store closures, bankruptcies, take overs and layoffs.
Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years.
Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Talbots Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are among chains shuttering underperforming locations.
More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have sought bankruptcy protection this year as the credit squeeze and recession drained sales. Investors will start seeing a wide variety of chains seeking bankruptcy protection in February when they file financial reports, said Burt Flickinger.
Even Wal-Mart is hurting with its stock falling 24%.
This part of the story is interesting,
“The whole pricing system is becoming an old-fashioned bazaar,” Hastings said today in a telephone interview. “They’re going into the stores and they’re looking at the stuff and they’re saying ‘You know what? I know that that price is way too high,’ and they have figured out that the signage doesn’t mean that much.”
So are consumers going in and actually haggling with sales people over prices, even at large chain establishments? Looks like it. Now that is something I wouldn’t have expected.
NEW YORK — If you’re looking for an extra bargain before the holidays, you may only have to ask. With holiday sales shaping up to be the lowest in years, possibly the worst since the industry began annual comparisons in 1969, retailers say they’re taking consumers’ demands for good deals seriously. Some are extending return policies, while others are matching competitors’ prices. Many are volunteering on-the-spot discounts and even letting customers haggle prices well down from what’s marked in a desperate bid to make the cash register ring.
The above story is before Christmas, and I wonder if such tactics will still work. If not, just wait for the going out of business sales I guess.