Some retailers reduced prices and focused inventory on lower-priced products between June 2022 and January 2023, according to a DataWeave report.

Ecommerce apparel retailers in the U.S. are cutting prices and decreasing stock of high-priced products, per a report from DataWeave. 

The report examined more than 40,000 SKUs between July 2022 and January 2023 to see these trends. Retailers include Dillard’s Inc., No. 103 in Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the Top 1000 ecommerce retailers in North America, Macy’s Inc. (No. 17), Zappos and Nordstrom Inc. (No. 20). Inc. is No. 1 and owns Zappos.

Retailers and brands adjusted prices

Pricing competitively is especially important in times of high inflation, according to the ecommerce analytics software vendor. Many of the retailers examined in the report reduced prices between June 2022 and January 2023 to attract customers and drive sales.

Per the report, Nordstrom cut prices the most of the brands examined, by 19% in the period. Net-a-Porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus (No. 73), and Dillard’s also consistently reduced prices in that timeline by 14%, 8%, 6%, and 6%, respectively.


Lowering prices didn’t drive sales, according to Nordstrom’s annual report for 2022.

“During economic downturns or inflationary periods, including those resulting from the impacts of COVID-19, fewer customers may shop as these purchases may be seen as discretionary, and those who do shop may limit the amount of their purchases. Any reduced demand or changes in customer purchasing behavior may lead to lower sales, higher markdowns and an overly promotional environment or increased marketing and promotional spending,” the retailer said.

Individual brands also offered discounts during the period, according to DataWeave. The majority of brands examined had discounts of more than 15% across retailers that sold them. Joe’s Jeans had an average discount of 25%, Silver Jeans Co. offered 22%, and Mango came in at 19%. Nike (No. 9) came in a bit lower at an average discount of 11%.

Some retailers bucked the trend of reducing prices, per the report. Macy’s increased prices an average of 18% over the seven-month period, and Zappos increased by 6%.


Retailers focused on lower-cost products

An examination of merchandise in stock for different apparel retailers showed that supply chain pressures like delayed shipments could still be impacting businesses. However, some are faring better than others. Nordstrom maintained nearly 100% of merchandise in stock during the entire time frame. Macy’s, Dillards, and Zappos saw stock decline from 98%, 96%, and 85% in July, respectively, to 87%, 93%, and 80% seven months later.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus seem to be far more impacted by supply chain issues, according to the report, with in-stock levels of 45%-55% and 35%-45%, respectively. Neiman Marcus also said in February 2023 that it would focus on the top 2% of customers that drove 40% of sales, which could impact inventory.

The report also shows retailers are differentiating which products they prioritize keeping in stock. DataWeave broke down the stock availability of premium products at retailers compared to availability of other products. Premium products are defined as in the top 20 percentile by price. In each month examined within the report, retailers had higher stock availability for non-premium products, with a breakdown of 72% of premium items in stock and 78% of other products in stock in January.


“It is clear that there is a greater focus by all retailers on the more affordable range of their assortment,” DataWeave wrote in the report.

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