What is Off-price?

The term “off-price” is often confused with discounting. Although both formats feature merchandise with a value orientation, they are not the same concepts. The off-pricers purchase goods far below the regular wholesale price and pass the savings on to the consumer. The discounter pays the usual wholesale price and resells the merchandise at prices that have a lower markup. The former’s markup is generally the same as the traditionalists, their price feature coming from the savings they enjoy from off-price purchasing. The latter works on a lower markup and makes up for it by selling in large volumes. Some of the better known off-price merchants include Marshall’s, Syms, Today’s Man, T.J. Maxx, and the aforementioned Loehmann’s. The most popular of the discounters are Walmart, Kmart, and Target, Buying for Discount Operations. The number of off-price operations continues to grow in the United States, making it an excellent arena for buyers to work. They are found coast-to-coast, featuring a wide assortment of goods in addition to apparel and accessories, and such items as home furnishings, toys, outdoor furniture, and food products. Their locations include freestanding venues; off- price merchandising centers such as the ones in Freeport, Maine, Reading, Pennsylvania, and Orlando, Florida; and power centers, shopping areas that cluster high-volume, value-oriented retailers.

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