July 22

Massive Overstocked Retailers Give Big Discounts

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As a result of the supply chain crisis and resulting shipping delays, deep discounts are available at stores across the U.S., with many items on sale due to overstock from ships stuck offshore waiting for their cargo.

“It’s retail armageddon. That’s good news for shoppers”, says Burt Flickinger, managing director for Strategic Resource Group, to CBS News. While inflation forces consumers to cut back on spending, stores are stocking up beyond capacity. Target recently announced plans for additional markdowns as part of a move to “right-size” its inventory—a response after the retailer admitted overstocking by more than 30 percent at some locations.

“You have too many goods and too many stores chasing too few shoppers with too few dollars,” Flickinger says.

Bargain Hunt, an outlet selling excess goods from other stores at reduced prices, has noticed a different trend this time.

“The condition of the product — it’s never left the case, it didn’t make it to the stores, it’s not dog-eared or wrinkled or ruffled having been on a shelf,” Rankin told CBS News.

Toy seller Maryam Al-Hammami is no different; inventory overload has also hit small businesses like hers. “My first thought was, I’m glad I’m not them,” Al-Hammami says, referring to the big stores. “But then, all of a sudden, I realized I am them!” But her suppliers keep raising prices, so she’s trying to store extra toys until demand returns.

“Sitting on a product that I purchased for 20% less when I ordered it last September is a better option than purchasing it for 20% more next month,” says Al-Hammami.

Even bigger sales could occur after Labor Day. Some retailers are so overstocked that they’re offering full refunds and telling customers to keep the merchandise.