Friday, October 9, 2009

Xmas starts early at Walmart

On Sept 25th, Walmart annouced it would drop prices of ten brand-name toys to $10 every week between now and Christmas. 

This year's Christmas shopper is going to be selective and value-conscious like never before,” Jim Thompson, Wal-Mart Canada's senior vice-president of merchandise and operations, said. That's why we are starting our Christmas toy price cuts earlier than ever, across more toys than ever before.”

Many shoppers plan to buy items on sale (74 per cent) to help stay on budget, and many expect to spread their shopping over a longer period of time to avoid large post-Christmas bills,” Wal-Mart said.

Looking at real estate sales anyone would think that Vancouver is in the midst of a economic boom. Bidding wars, people paying over a million dollars to purchase decrepit shacks and sheds on tiny plots of land.  Real estate in Vancouver has become a gold mine again for sellers with crack addict buyers.  Property where I live that hasn't sold for over six months or more has sold.  New listings are gone within days.  Panic buying fueled by cheap easy credit from the CMHC.

I suspect even Walmart knows this is a catastrophe in the making.

The intriguing thing about Walmart dropping toy prices so low and so far in advance of Christmas is what does it mean?  What is Walmart telling us beyond what they are they are saying?

It almost sounds like Walmart wants to clear its inventory of toys before Christmas even gets here.

What does Walmart know that the average Canadian consumer doesn't? 

I think what it means is Walmart expects Christmas '09 to be a disaster for retail sales.   Perhaps they expect by the time Christmas rolls around, people are not going to be thinking about Christmas anymore or that their shopping habits will be so sharply curtailed that it is going to have a devastating effect.  They want to do whatever they can to get people to shop for Christmas and buy gifts for their kids well in advance so that families and their children still have a Christmas.

The local evening news yesterday, Oct 8th, ran a piece about Walmart dropping toy prices to $10, almost encouraging people to get out and shop early for bargains while they can...Feels like they are hyping the sale as much as real estate, as much as the Swine Flu and in advance of the Second Wave.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one trying to connect the dots.

Fortunately have access to the Internet, so I know I'm not alone.

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