With 30, 40 and even 50 percent off signs rampant throughout apparel departments, and newspaper ads and Web sites touting major sales, it’s no wonder retailers are hitting up the vendor community for markdown money even earlier than usual — and for greater amounts.


As the fall selling season turns into one of the most disastrous on record, because consumers virtually stopped shopping in October, retailers have been forced to cut prices at least a month earlier than usual. Neiman Marcus, for example, offered 40 percent off all merchandise throughout the store for several days in late October, went back to regular prices and then resumed major sales of 25 to 40 percent throughout women’s designer, couture, contemporary and career sportswear this past Saturday; Macy’s is offering 25 to 50 percent off storewide through Veteran’s Day; Saks Fifth Avenue gave 20 percent off to “friends and family” in mid-October and has been selling many of its contemporary sportswear lines at 40 percent off and Bergdorf Goodman’s Web site touts “Save as much as 40 percent off.”

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