It’s always a classic example of game theory. Hold your nerve, out stare the competition or cut and run. If it were not so serious it would be a fun game as profits, bonuses and even very survival depend on it.
Yes it’s the call about when to cut prices and play the volume/cash game (another Christmas classic) in the run up to the close of business on Christmas eve.
It has been many, many years since discounting could be relied upon only to start on Boxing Day.
From the customer perspective how long can you hold out until you need to do the bulk of your Christmas shopping and when do you think the discounting will start? Who will blink first you, or the retailer your shopping list items are sold at?
Well its started early this year in London, so I guess it’s the retail nerves that broke first in 2013. Last Friday two full shopping weekends prior to Christmas many retailers started the day by putting up the sale signs, especially in the apparel sector, as they cut and ran. And once one goes, the rest follow fast.
Not a good sign. But there will be winners and losers. Hold onto your hats. There is a lot to play for over the next few weeks including the important sales post Christmas. But this year it’s looking a lot like the real winner will be the consumer.