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Timing of seasonal sales
Courty, Pascal; Hao, Li
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We present a model of timing of seasonal sales where stores chooseseveral designs at the beginning of the season without knowingwich one, if any, will be fashionable. Fashionable designs have achance to fetch high prices in fashion markets while non-fashionableones must be sold in a discount market. In the beginning of theseason, stores charge high prices in the hope of capturing theirfashion market. As the end of the season approaches with goods stillon the shelves, stores adjust downward their expectations that theyare carrying a fashionable design, and may have sales to capture thediscount market. Having a greater number of designs induces a storeto put one of them on sales earlier to test the market. Moreover,price competition in the discount market induces stores to startsales earlier because of a greater perceived first-mover advantage incapturing the discount market. More competition, perhaps due todecreases in the cost of product innovation, makes sales occur evenearlier. These results are consistent with the observation that thetrend toward earlier sales since mid-1970's coincides with increasingproduct varieties in fashion good markets and increasing storecompetition.
Business Economics and Industrial Organization
seasonal sales
clearance sales
pricing policies
competitive pricing
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