Retailers’ Massive Discounting

One of the issues we have been discussing has been how widely and deeply Retailers will be discounting, and what it means to the overall economy.

The most recent review of price cutting is that they are both deep and broad. Our quick survey of both brick and mortar coupons and online savings codes shows that discounting is ramping up dramatically.  This will likely pressure for Q4 profit margins.

Attached are 2 PDFs we scraped together (from various shopping fiends we know); These represent almost 40 major retailers discounting for the first post Black Friday weekend’s sales events.

Download Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy.pdf

Download 6 Store, 30 online coupons.pdf

As you can see, the price cutting is quite dramatic

Retailers are nervous, judging by the considerable price cutting thats going on:


UPDATE:  November 30, 2006 4:25pm

Google Checkout has gotten into the Holiday discounting spirit!


A sampler of various Store Sample coupons (not including Google):






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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Limejuice commented on Nov 30

    Plug Google is pushing Google Checkout heavily with unlimited $10 off $30 and $20 off $50 coupons.

    I’ve been buying lots more stuff from and this season and less on because of all the google coupons.

  2. emd commented on Nov 30

    equities are the only thing this holiday season not on sale

  3. wcw commented on Nov 30

    Depends how you measure it. Nb all the usual caveats, but right now the S&P 500 is throwing off more cash than the 10-year.

  4. Mel commented on Nov 30

    I have never seen a Restoration Hardware Friends and Family. As for the others, I know that I am waiting to use the F & F 30% off at Banana Republic for some gifts – sure I could buy them now, but why not get the discount? And I am planning to spend less this year than in previous years. It’s all a little too out of control for my taste.

    Thanks for the Google tip Limejuice. Didn’t know about that.

  5. KP commented on Nov 30

    Bah…deep smeep. The ‘regular’ prices are inflated to the moon….they can spare the discounts.

  6. muckdog commented on Nov 30

    Discounts will increase over the next month and after Christmas, I think.

    I wonder how much the Zune will go for after Christmas? I mean, there is Zero Traffic in the Zune aisle at retailers. No plans for me to get one; I’m getting a new smartphone in early 2007.

  7. Michael C. commented on Nov 30

    Hey, isn’t this deflation!?!

  8. cleanupDSNY commented on Nov 30

    barnes & noble looks like it is expired. hmmmm, how am i going to buy cramer’s latest with an expired coupon? maybe they re giving them away for free….

  9. Junebug commented on Nov 30

    Doesn’t look like deep discounting to me. Seen similiar coupons/discounts all throughout the year.

    Check the online shopping forums (i.e.,, etc….)

  10. rebound commented on Nov 30

    Who would have thunk? Prices go down because of competition. Consumers win! Capitalism on the march!!! I love it. Some deflationary price manifestations in an era of “stealth” inflation might give the little guy some reprieve and due justice this holiday season.

    But the next post I will be back to doom and gloom and the reality of consumers being overextended and nothing being left to prop up the economy after the real estate cash-out equity withdrawal bonanza of the last half decade. I’ll also regress into harping about ARM’s re-ARMING which are getting ready to kill the discretionary cash flow of millions of households which will have a delayed but very real effect on the economy. In other words, I will again be stating the obvious amongst peers … hoping that someone will prove me incorrect so that I can go long and stop drinking as heavily.


  11. DavidB commented on Nov 30

    Every time I see a store advertise 30% off I can’t help but think, “Man, they were willing to originally rip me for that extra 30%!” It is usually enough to keep me from ever buying from the place

    The only one I’ll buy from at 30% discount sale price is Mr. Market and I am definitely checking out the package before I buy from that crook(maybe crook is too harsh a word. Let’s just say that he is more than willing to rob you blind if you let him)

  12. Mike commented on Nov 30

    The Gap coupons in the PDF are NOT special to this year; employees gets a limited number of these to hand out to their personal friends and family every year at this time. Also, the discount rate is the same as always.

  13. Lindi Smith commented on Nov 30

    I’m wondering when Americans will finally have enough stuff?

    I mean, year after year, how much can we possibly buy anyway?

  14. Schizohedron commented on Nov 30

    >I mean, year after year, how much can we possibly buy anyway?

    Lindi, this is where the Container Store steps in!

  15. JL commented on Nov 30

    I think you misinterpreted this piece of data. Retailers do this at the end of every year to drive up fiscal year earnings. Coupon discounts are even higher after Xmas day…with an expiration date of 12/31.

  16. Sherman McCoy commented on Nov 30

    “peace. love. gap.”?????

    Damn. When I see that I am soooooo happy I’ve joined the counterculture…

  17. Bob A commented on Dec 1

    Hey there’s the boots I wanted at Timberland for 40% off. Thanks dude!

  18. Rick commented on Dec 1

    I have also used Google check-out 4/5 times at every time using $20 off $50 purchase but I am unable to figure out what is Google getting out of this? Because I will absolutely not use it again in future if discount is not there (there are few small benefits of using them – but they are not strong enough)!

    If it is something like Google is trying to collect some additional data on users, probably it is a high price to pay – a one-time $20 off $50 (which they have – as one-time $10 off $10 purchase) may be able to get them most of it – but I am not able to understand their gain in allowing this discount unlimited number of times. BTW, it almost made it feel like 1999-2000 again for internet shopping deals..

  19. JL commented on Dec 2


    Perhaps Google wants to become the middleman between retailers and credit card companies. If they sign up enough retailers, they might be able to get a better deal on fees than retailers. To the consumer, not having to enter credit card #’s over and over again is a convenience.

  20. sally commented on Dec 3

    Looks like the Gap is not that desperate for sales this holiday season. Last year the friends and family coupons that were printed from online were accepted in their stores… this year the snotty salespeople are rejecting them and making you feel like you are stealing from them. As one customer in line at Banana Republic stated “you can keep your stuff! I’ll be back next week when you have it marked down 30%!

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