HOW SHOULD RETAILERS APPROACH HOLIDAY PROMOTIONS THIS YEAR?

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I’m reading about major retailers spreading their Black Friday promotions throughout the holiday season. Since I’m still seeing strong demand, how should I approach holiday markdowns this year? (Especially considering that I don’t have a ton of inventory.) Thanks.

Steve Pruitt: I’ve seen the same information — not only is there an extension of Black Friday, but there also seems to be an extension of the complete Holiday season. That said, I don’t expect that markdowns will drive the specialty store business, and we don’t want them to. We want margin, especially as we continue to recapitalize our businesses after last year.

It will be interesting to see how the traditional Black Friday operations (mostly Big Box retailers) promote, especially given that they have the biggest issues with deliveries.

At Blacks, we still expect that this will be one of the strongest holiday seasons we’ve seen in years. Demand is steady, and our merchants are seeing good sell-thru, and margin, on leaner inventories. There’s no reason to discount at this point, so I say focus on margin.


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