By  on January 12, 2009

The promotions that helped produce last-minute holiday sales might have lightened many retailers’ inventories, but the bite they took out of profit margins will come back to haunt them next month when they begin to tally their fourth-quarter and year-end earnings.

Discounts were so deep that, while they helped to generate individual purchases, they offered only limited relief to overall revenues, several analysts noted. Whereas December comparable-store sales weren’t quite as bad as some had feared, the promotions that aided the generation of those numbers are likely to come back to haunt stores as they calculate their bottom lines.

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