: Retailers are clearing out their stock, but a lot of products will likely still be cheaper

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Stock Market

After a chaotic year of lopsided inflation and frenetic markdowns, retail chains are trying to get back to something resembling normal. But recent earnings reports show there is still plenty of room for products that aren’t groceries to stay on the discount rack.

Many large retailers have put a significant dent in the mountains of clothing and stacks of electronics they amassed last year that they couldn’t sell, after warped supply chains staggered product shipments and rising prices made many shoppers more necessity-minded. Inventories for the most recent quarter were down, or at least evened out, at chains like Target Corp.
Walmart Inc.
and Macy’s Inc.
compared with where they were at the end of 2021. But some analysts have said retail inventories are still high overall, and signals from executives were still mixed. John Rainey, Walmart’s chief financial officer, was optimistic, saying “I feel like this year will be more of a normal environment for markdowns — or certainly more normal than what it was last year,” on the big-box chain’s earnings call last month. Executives at Target, which is more exposed to the whims of discretionary shopping, were not as sanguine. They said last week that they expect “a more promotional environment” up ahead and were planning “more cautiously” on bringing discretionary items — or things that aren …

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