Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas 2009 Forecast

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of what we longingly remember as the best Christmas shopping season ever! Yes, it was early November 2008 when retailers started to realize that their inventory was not moving. There was no other option than to aggressively reduce prices.

Last year, black Friday came two weeks early. Saks reduced almost all their inventory to 70% off, Madison retailers scrambled with private sales, surprise sales, VIP sales-- whatever you want to call it. Is this year going to be the same? Sadly, no.

This season, stores were much more cautious with their inventory and price points. So what can we expect?

Sale season starts in November and usually culminates with the best deals in February. Right now, most department stores have slashed prices by 40%. This week, many Madison Avenue boutiques will start calling their best customers and offering pre-sale discounts of 40% to 50% off.

The next big markdown will come after Christmas when department store discounts range from 50% to 65% off. The third markdown/consolidation sale/ friends and family/ last call is when the best discounts can be found. You might have to wait until the last week of January but 70% off is when the expensive becomes affordable.

Like every year in the past, third markdown will come but we don't expect there to be a huge inventory worth lusting over. (As a matter of fact, there wasn't much worth lusting over at the beginning of the season.) So buy what you need and wait for what you want because prices always come around.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it buy what you want and wait for the need. Or buy what you love. You never regret that. Many of the boutiques and department stores have limited inventory. So for exceptional items, it really may not be there at 70 off. With all that said, I will never buy full price again. Seeing dresses that I bought for $2000+, being sold on Gilt for $500 or $600 has sealed the deal on waiting for the sale

Dana Butler said...

I found this through another blog. I'dd prob have a heart attack seeing what these retailers "sales" are. I think I'll stick to discount outlets, products with flaws, or bargain store no name knock offs. Sometimes a tag isn't worth it, especially with todays economic crisis. I must loive the shame that i'll never really have a face value :(.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the forecast! your blog truly helps to shop in NYC with the high taxes and rent rates. I agree with the anonymous's opinion, but sometimes, if you are lucky, you could get the 70% off deal... thanks once again!

Anonymous said...

What I find so comical about all of this is that we are not out of the recession yet- and to back that claim up is a full report on what economists forecast on CNN.

The Shoptometrist said...

Thanks for the forecast! One theory: having learned from last year's disastrous retail situation (disaster for them = nirvana for me) which resulted in excess inventory that simply wouldn't move, store buyers bought a lot less inventory this time around so they wouldn't be in the same boat this year.

Anonymous said...

This is a good clear post. I've been amazed at how much misinformation there is floating around out there. Many people seem to be under the impression that stores never go to 70% off, save for an economic disaster like last fall. Quite the contrary, they have been doing so in February and August for years.

In terms of betting items will be there when the markdowns come, my experience with menswear is this. So long as the price of a shirt or pants does not fall below about $125, or a jacket below $300, it is worth waiting. But once they cross those thresholds, everything but fashion mistakes will move out of the store pretty quickly.