>> Beleaguered by falling in-store traffic and competition from online behemoth Amazon, department stores have a new mantra this year for the all-important holiday shopping season. Less is more. Retailers such as Macy's, JC Penney, Kohl's, Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor, are ordering goods just three to four months in advance, instead of placing orders nearly a year out.
Says Reuters retail correspondent, Nandita Bose.>> They don't want to be stuck with excess stock, which they have to move at the end of the season by offering steep discounts, they definitely wanna control costs. And they also want to create the sense of urgency with customers.>> It's a tactic that's worked for fast fashion chains, such as Zara and H&M.
But for department stores, mimicking it, comes with a risk. While limited supplies might force some impulsive shoppers to scramble early for gifts, it might cause others to go straight to the web, thereby exacerbating the original problem. And by shortening delivery times, retailers are putting tighter deadlines on suppliers that might be impossible to meet.
>> A lot of vendors have started saying no, to sort of last minute orders. And so what we understand from some fresh reporting that we've done yesterday, that a lot of retailers are now turning to Central American factories to place orders for items they think will be top sellers, they're moving away from their Asian vendors.
>> But department stores think the reward will be worth the risk. If they can keep inventory tight and avoid deep discounting, they can pocket bigger profits and live to fight Amazon another day.