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The Financial Times writes that "US department stores and clothing retailers, trying to weather the continued onslaught of online shopping, are resorting to some of the biggest discounts since the 2008 crisis to woo consumers, heightening concerns of a squeeze in profit margins." The story quotes industry data saying that "special offers have lasted long beyond the traditional Black Friday promotional period and are also steeper than in previous years."

While some retailers, such as Walmart and Target, have been saying that they feel good about 2019 holiday sales, the problem is that while revenue may increase, margins and profits may tighten to the point that some retailers may find their businesses to be economically unsupportable.

The situation is not helped by the continued growth of online shopping, which puts even greater pressure on retailers to engage in price promotion activity.
KC's View:
In other words, no matter how much lipstick some retailers try to put on a pig, the reality is that for a lot of companies in a lot of locations, the basic foundations of traditional retail are crumbling as businesses try to address new problems with old tactics. Such approaches may just delay the inevitable.