Here’s what happened. If I’m a retailer, I have a business plan baked in the cake a year or more before Christmas for what I’m going to buy for the next Christmas season. Many things are specifically sourced for a single retailer so they can have exclusive deals. So retailers baked in their plans last year, finished them out early this year and ordered the goods.
But earlier this year, there was a lot of labor unrest at the giant port in Southern California where so many Asian goods enter the U.S. market. That meant things that were supposed to be on shelves this summer didn’t make it. Those things are now showing up at the same time as the merchandise coming in for Christmas. So there’s a mismatch between how much stuff will be for sale and the innate shopping demand that will be out there. That means we’ll see generous promotions over the next 4 to 6 weeks.