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Tom Au, CFA
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In the early 1990s, during the middle of a secular bull market, I began work on "A Modern Approach To Graham and Dodd Investing," that was not particularly suited for the decade of the 1990s, but was ideally suited for the following "Lost Decade" of the 2000s.
My book:
A Modern Approach to Graham and Dodd Investing
  • More Bad News From the Retailing Front 1 comment
    Jan 15, 2011 6:54 PM
    I'm writing from New York City, which may not be representative of "Main St. as a whole. Even so, it is probably representative of what's going on in "big cities," especially on one or both coasts.

    Normally, there is a certain amount of discounting after the Christmas (and Hanukkah) holidays, to move merchandise, but this year's discounts seem to be larger than usual. For instance, the "standard" discount is ANOTHER "half off" a FIRST "half off," or 75% in total. This is large compared to the cumulative 60%-70% discounts that prevailed in most previous years. Suits are going for $200 that used to sell for $800. Skirts that originally cost $59.95 are selling for $14.95. (Note the "clipping" of 5 cents off prices to make them one "handle" lower.) Similar things could be said for men's clothes.

    What's worse, these low prices are being transferred to SPRING clothing just being put on the shelves. It's as if the stores realize that they have overordered for their spring sales as well, and need to cut prices on "new" merchandise (not just last year's). If that's the case, and it keeps lasting year round, we may be getting into a culture of "everyday low prices." That's not good news for retailers.
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  • TeresaE
    , contributor
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    It also serves to show the disconnect from the headlines of "Best Retail Ever!"


    If sales were so "great," then why do retailers feel the need to slash their own throats - and margins - to move the stuff off the shelves.


    I received a 30% off coupon (including clearance), which I used on the 70% clearance racks. Plus they gave me back 20% more in "cash" that I can spend today - and still use my 30% discount.


    They are nearly paying me to shop. There is no way things were so great, with reality like this.


    I also shop clearance for my daughter, buying the next years clothes at mega-discounts. Besides, the only guarantee we really have is that between fuel, yuan revaluing and Ben B., there is no way the items I've purchased will be cheaper next year.
    18 Jan 2011, 10:06 AM Reply Like
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