Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

from DealZone:

Markdown poster child: I’d do it again

With the luxury of hindsight, Saks Chief Executive Stephen Sadove said he wouldn't hesitate to repeat the big markdowns of the 2008 holiday season if faced with the same tough environment that made the retailer the poster child of recessionary sales.

"It was the right thing to do to generate the cash," Sadove said at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York.

The sale slashed prices on high-fashion, designer merchandise by as much as 70 percent, prompting a flood of media coverage and a slew of shoppers.

"It took some months to clear out the inventory. All the  questions of vendor relationships --- every one understood very quickly it was the right thing for the business. I would have done it again," Sadove said.

Watching the flight to basics play out on Target’s shelves


Target has said its food and consumable items, like paper towels and toilet paper, are flying off store shelves, while its trendy clothes and home decor languish as newly thrifty shoppers avoid unnecessary spluges.

This past Saturday at a Target store in New Jersey, the diverging sales trends were evident.

Check Out Line: Appliances for sale


ge.jpgCheck out a nice GE convection oven.*** ***It may be for sale, along with the rest of GE’s appliances division.*** ***General Electric said it is seeking “strategic options” for the appliance business, which could include a partnership, spinoff or sale.*** ***Lots of consumers are familiar with GE refrigerators, dishwashers and the like. But the business accounts for only about 4 percent of the company’s sales. It takes a lot of dishwashers to equal one jet engine.*** ***Aside from aviation, the company’s other business lines include energy, electrical distribution healthcare and media & entertainment (think NBC television.)*** ***So why keep holding on to appliances, especially when that business is being hurt by the long-running housing slump?*** ***Also in the basket:*** ***Abercrobmie & Fitch profit tops view *** ***Macy’s to have FAO Schwartz boutiques in stores *** ***Old-style pumps balk at $4-a-gallon gas, too (Washington Post)******U.S. department store sales weak, but beat Street******(Reuters photo)