Financial markets are in the tank, and the economy is grinding to halt – a great time, it turns out, to shop.
Shoppers can find a bonanza of deals on everything from Prada shoes to premium jeans and smartphones. Discounters like T.J. Maxx and Overstock.com and outlet stores like Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth are all stocking greater selections of apparel, accessories and electronic goods – at some of the best prices – due to a sharp falloff in consumer spending that has forced full-price stores to unload excess inventory.
Shoppers like Kristle Bonfield, a 23-year-old nurse technician and regular T.J. Maxx customer, have noticed. The store she frequents in Manhattan has lately been stocking a wider selection of high-end jeans from labels such as True Religion and Paper Denim & Cloth, she says. Bonfield says she bought a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans for about $80 that she later saw at Bloomingdale's for more than $200.
Kimberly Greenberger, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., expects the deals to only get better into next year if consumer spending stays weak, which industry-watchers expect. In a survey of 1,000 people this month by America's Research Group, nearly half of respondents who said they shopped at luxury stores in past Christmas seasons say they won't shop at those stores this year – meaning more merchandise could be headed to off-price stores, online discounters and outlet stores.
Overstock.com, an online discounter based in Salt Lake City, will sell items at 15percent to 45percent off full retail price for the holidays.
Retail Ventures Inc.'s DSW stores are offering up to 75percent off designer shoes, compared with discounts of up to 50percent last year.