Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who pays for all the markdowns?

The practice of guaranteed margins, common in the department store channel, is being questioned by suppliers who are staggering under the weight of all those huge markdowns we're seeing.
Clothing makers, balking at the deep holiday discounts offered by retailers such as Macy’s Inc., may force department stores to eat more of the markdowns.

Liz Claiborne Inc., HMS Productions Inc. and a raft of apparel companies plan to push back at the retailers who have slashed some prices by 70 percent amid what’s shaping up as the worst holiday shopping season in four decades.
Some analysts are saying that stores used to guarantees of 40% may have to settle for 35%, and that mid-range stores like Penney may see their guarantees cut from 35% to 30%. The cuts could save suppliers a billion or more. There may be some interesting conversations at the NRF meeting next month.

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