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Unpacked: From deep discounts to phaseouts, how retailers are unloading excess inventory

By Maria Monteros

As excess inventory piles up in warehouses, retailers are looking into different methods of freeing up space.

Target said its product inventories increased 43% from last year and Walmart’s was up 32%. Both retailers have resorted to methods like discounting to offload goods. Dozens of Old Navy stores, on the other hand, have scaled back on the company’s inclusive sizing program to realign their inventory.

Retailers recently warned that they had too much inventory as a result of shifting consumer demand and supply chain issues, which had a significant impact on their bottom lines. As consumers spend less money on categories that trended during the pandemic — like athleisure and home goods — and more on travel and entertainment, retailers are left with a supply of goods that consumers no longer want, at least at full price. In a bid to reduce their inventory levels, some have resorted to discounting, while others have completely cut down their assortment.

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