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Kate Spade


Retailers are gearing up for lots of shoppers this holiday season, starting on Thanksgiving Day or even earlier for some. Others will hold off until Friday, otherwise known as Black Friday.

This year, however, not all brands are anxious to play along with the discounts some stores would like to offer. According to the Wall Street Journal, some big names, including Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:KORSC) and Coach Inc. (NYSE:COHC) are more concerned about controlling pricing than they are boosting sales.

Related: THE HOLIDAY SEASON EBATTLES BEGIN

It’s A Risky Game For Stores

Customers dislike sales that exclude some of their favorite brands. Big chains like Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:MC) owned Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue know that, even though they would prefer higher margins themselves.

Department stores would rather eliminate discounts all together but know customers are hooked on deals, especially going into the busy Black Friday shopping frenzy. Companies like J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCPC) and Macy’s learned this lesson and angered customers when they eliminated coupons in the past.

Brands Bid Farewell

Some brands, even though they depended on large chains when they were first starting out, have been opening their own retail locations and have demanded they be excluded from department store promotions. Interestingly, some brands offer promotions in their own stores comparable to the discounts they used to offer in other retailers’ locations.

This has resulted in some tension between brands and retailers. Brands such as Diane von Furstenberg and Kate Spade & Co. (:KATEN/A) are no longer even sold in certain department stores because, according to sources, the brands and the stores could not come to agreement about promotions and related issues.

Related: POSTELECTION HOLIDAY SHOPPING PREDICTIONS

Where Brands Are On Sale

Shoppers need not worry. Plenty of stores plan to offer deep discounts on brand name products beginning this week.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSSC) for example, will have lots of well-known products on sale including jewelry and watches at 35% to 50% off.

The afore-mentioned Macy’s has door buster sales kicking off at 5 p.m. Thursday including 75% off select outerwear and more.

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLDD) is already having early sales on both store brand and brand name appliances, home goods and electronics.

Target Corp. (NYSE:TGTC), like Sears has already launched its sales on electronics, video games and other similar products.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMTC), with little margin room to spare, offers even deeper discounts on Black Friday. Bargains will be found in Wal-Mart locations all over America.



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