Christmas 2009 Forecast

November 16, 2009 by Hayley Corwick

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.


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