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StevePruitt-FEATURED.jpgQ: I see a lot of markdowns from my competitors already, and since consumers are still cautious I’m wondering if I need to markdown as well. What do you advise?

Steve Pruitt: You’re right—markdowns are accelerating around you. Although this is common, this season is heating up more aggressively because the national retail scene is a little off. This softness in the market is normal and expected. We will stay in the soft cycle until after the election.

Although the markdowns may seem excessive, particularly from the department stores and national chains, these markdowns are planned in advance in most cases.

Recognize the positive effect of markdowns on your profits and use them as needed. Also, remember as you message your markdowns you want to convert markdowns into marketing dollars (events that drive traffic).

So how should you respond? By getting loud as well. The good news is that deep markdowns are no more effective than small markdowns. The trick is just to make a lot of noise. So get those Instagrams and emails going and be proactive.

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