Timing of Seasonal Sales Courty, Pascal; Li, Hao

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Courty, Pascal ; Li, Hao
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The Journal of Business
Seasonal variations (Economics) -- Models; Discounts (Sales) -- Economic aspects; competitive pricing
We present a model of timing of seasonal sales in which stores choose several designs before the season without knowing which, if any, is fashionable. Stores begin by charging high prices to capture the fashion market. As the season approaches the end with goods still unsold, stores have sales to capture the discount market. More designs and greater price competition in the discount market induce earlier sales. The results are consistent with the observation that the trend toward earlier sales since the mid-1970s coincides with increasing product varieties in fashion goods markets and increasing store competition.
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