shopping season approaches U.S. online retailers to resist pressure to retain customers

The price of e-products at major U.S. online retailers rose slightly as the crucial “Black Friday” shopping season approaches, but many home appliancemakers, including Wal-Mart and Amazon, have had to resist pressure to keep prices stable for other popular holiday products. The analysis is based on a pricing study by retail analytics firm Profitero that covers online prices for 21,000 products from seven major U.S. retailers.

Profitero compared the prices of the “Black Five” products for October and November with those of the same period last year, including home appliances, consumer electronics, and electronics from online retailers such as Wal-Mart’s Jet.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.com Inc., Best Buy, GameStop and Staples. Toys and video games.

Key shopping season approaches U.S. online retailers to resist pressure to retain customers

On average, the price of electronics is up 2.3 percent from a year earlier, while prices in all categories are up 0.9 percent, said Keith Anderson, senior vice president of strategy and observation at Profitero.

U.S. trade policy is likely to push up product prices, which could affect consumer spending this holiday shopping season. For many retailers, the holiday shopping season accounts for nearly 40 percent of annual revenue. However, according to interviews with researchers, consultants and retail firms, while tariffs have pushed up the cost of goods at many retailers, at least large companies have so far failed to pass on such cost pressures to consumers.

According to an analysis by the Oxford Economics, eBIT margins at all retailers except Wal-Mart have been falling since October 2018 and are now 6.7 per cent, the lowest level since 2010.

Although some retail executives have previously said they would work with suppliers to diversify their supply chains to control the premium on tariffs. “At the moment, no retailer wants to lose holiday sales, so the less pressure they are on to pass on to consumers, the better,” said Jeff Unze, president of BorderX Lab, an e-commerce platform. ”

Dollar Tree, a U.S. dollar chain, said its fourth-quarter sales would increase by about $19 million if trade policy was fully implemented.

In Profitero’s analysis, Wal-Mart’s products are 0.4 percentage points more expensive than a year ago. Amazon’s 9,200 products rose 0.6 percent. Samples of 1,200 items sold online by Target were 0.9 percent cheaper than a year earlier.

By contrast, prices at chains such as Staples rose more than 4.7 per cent, while Best Buy’s prices rose 1.1 per cent.

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