Trend To More Sophisticated Product Management By High Fashion Retailers?

Chart 150 DiscountedProductsPostHolidayFor the past two weeks we've been writing about possible retail strategy trends for the 2015 Holidays based on data analysis performed by Upstream Commerce that suggests both the number of discounted products and the depth of price promotions in the holiday season diminished over the past two holiday seasons. (Analysis was based on data on seven top fashion retailers that included Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Macys, Amazon, Zappos and Shopbop). Upstream Commerce also observed that retailers were trending to more sophisticated product management and extending their promos into the post-holiday season. Here's where you can access the report itself (Holiday Promotions Strategies Report: 300,000 Products Hint At Promotion Strategies for the 2015 Holiday Season). And here is Luxury Daily's take on that news: Retailers looking to move away from discounting for holidays.

Here's the second news release:

News Release: November 2015 For Immediate Release

UC logo 150 x 150Analysis of Holiday Promotions Shows Retailers Moving Inventory More Efficiently and Continuing Sales Into the Post-Holiday Season

New York -- Research analysis of 2013 and 2014 Holiday sales data on 300,000 products, by Upstream Commerce retail intelligence showed more sophisticated management of products, merchandise of higher quality offered at discounted prices, and promotions that extended after the holidays, suggesting that this is a trend retailers are likely to continue into and after the 2015 holiday season.  

Upstream Commerce found a decrease in the end-of-life products offered at a discount during the holiday season by top fashion retailers, showing that the retailers were more selective of which products were discounted. Analysis also indicated an increase in the amount of promotions that were running into mid-January, showing that promotions were now running past the holiday season.


Chart By Upstream Commerce, Copyright 2015  

It appears, said Upstream Commerce, that in 2013 retailers were still promoting products approaching end of life, but in 2014 they were using different criteria.

According to Upstream Commerce, the amount of discounted products that were discontinued decreased in 2014 (compared to 2013). For example, Amazon discontinued only 17% in 2014 compared to 25% in 2013; Neiman Marcus reduced its amount of non-available products from 39% to 25%.

Upstream Commerce CTO and co-founder, Shai Geva, said: "We are certain the change in trend in 2014 is not due to excess inventory which took retailers longer to move." In fact, as retailers have improved their inventory management practices over the last couple of years, the trend we are seeing is likely because retailers are investing greater efforts in discounting the right products at the right time, rather than just finishing those that were close to end-of-life."

Geva says, "There may be fewer promotions in 2015 (both in total discount and in the depth of reductions), but we will see 'higher quality' promotions. That is to say, the consumer will benefit from a more recent selection in lower prices, while retailers can see better results.

"And, as in the previous years, the promotions will extend past the holiday season," Geva concludes.

A full report on the analysis results, Holiday Promotion Strategies, 300,000 Products Hint At Promotion Strategies for the 2015 Holiday Season can be ordered FREE from Upstream Commerce.  

About Upstream Commerce

Global retail intelligence leader Upstream Commerce offers SaaS-based intelligence and predictive analytics solutions that transform the way retailers price, select merchandise, and manage products in order to maximize sales and optimize margins.

The Upstream Commerce Suite of Solutions empowers retailers to base all shopper-centric decisions on real-time market data. The company's highly configurable, flexible, and user-friendly platform enables retailers to effectively manage their pricing strategy through accurately tracking and comparing product pricing, availability and promotions using Price Intelligence; optimizing pricing using Predictive and Dynamic Pricing; optimizing product selection using Assortment Intelligence; monitoring MAP; making relationships with suppliers better informed; and bridging the gap between merchants and automation using Advanced Trending.

To find out how Upstream Commerce delivers results to the largest and most innovative retailers in the world including Staples, ToysRUs, Petco, eBags, JEGS, top fashion retailers, and many others, visit or call 1-800-815-1842.



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Naomi K. Shapiro, Strategic Market Communications

About Author

Seasoned strategic market communicator, Naomi headed public information for several academic and professional associations as well as founding Creative Brilliance Associates Market Communications. She created and published Brilliant Ideas for Publishers Magazine and authored popular newspaper trade reference, The Brilliant Book of Promotions, Sales Tools & Special Events. Simultaneously, Naomi savored the world as an adventure travel writer that included trekking on glaciers, fishing with saltwater crocodiles and swimming with piranhas. Naomi holds her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, including participation in a unique industry-science-technical writing program.
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