‘It’s retail armageddon’: Overstocked stores give big discounts as supply chain backlog shrinks

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In a big surprise to shoppers who have been weighed down by rising prices, there are deep discounts at stores across the U.S. Merchandise on freighters stranded at sea for supply chain crisis now invades store shelves, causing big sales.

“It’s retail armageddon,” Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, told CBS News.

This is good news for buyers, he said.

“Biggest discounts – consumer electronics, sporting goods, apparel, apparel, accessories,” he said.

The surplus of goods comes at a time when inflation is forcing consumers to cut back on spending. Flickinger says some stores are overstocked by more than 30% and there’s no room to put everything. Target recently admitted it needs to “adjust its inventory” and the retailer’s plans include “additional markdowns.”

“You have too much merchandise and too many stores chasing too few customers with too few dollars,” Flickinger said.

Extra goods are often sold to liquidators like Bargain Hunt, which sells items up to 70% off retail price. But this time, Bargain Hunt executive Norm Rankin sees something different.

“The condition of the product – it’s never left the case, it hasn’t arrived in stores, it’s not chipped or creased or ruffled from being on a shelf,” Rankin told CBS News.

Inventory overload is hitting even small business owners like toy seller Maryam Al-Hammami.

“My first thought was, I’m glad I’m not them,” she said of the big box stores. “But all of a sudden I realized that I am them!”

But she doesn’t have a clearance sale yet. Her suppliers keep raising prices, so she tries to stock up on extra toys until demand returns.

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

Even bigger sales could be on the way after Labor Day.

But what about returns? Retailers don’t want to advertise it, but with warehouses full, some are now refunding customers money and telling them to keep the item instead of returning it.

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