Q: My business is going pretty well; normally at this time of year I have seasonal markdowns planned and ready to go. When do you think I will need to start taking markdowns this season?
Steve Pruitt: My golden rule is that if it’s still selling at full price, don’t take markdowns. I know that many stores are used to taking them in June, but it looks like they will be pushed out by about 30 days.
We started delaying markdowns last year due to changes in demand, and I think this will continue. We must recognize that we are in a unique cycle right now where the customer is still willing to pay full price, even on goods that are not super new.
We are also facing inflation and margin pressures, so we want to make sure that we don’t take markdowns until we absolutely have to. And when you do take them, try to keep them in the promotional range of between 15 percent and 30 percent.
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