Is Off-Price Off the Table Post Covid-19?


As the forced closure of nonessential businesses swept the nation, apparel retailers were put in a difficult position. With the shuttering of countless stores, it’s become clear that once the quarantine is over, there will be a massive amount of surplus apparel. And now that the reopening of stores seems within reach, where will all that extra inventory go?

In a normal market, brands typically leverage off-price retailers to offload their excess inventory. But as we know, stores like ROSS, Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Burlington were not immune to the closures. What’s more, they are also not offering an online buying platform. So, they—like the brands they typically get merchandise from—are also deep in excess inventory, with limited outlets.

In the retail ecosystem, off-price retailers play a pivotal role in moving inventory that department stores can’t sell. And typically, those off-price stores themselves aren’t limited by seasonal fashion trends as much as their counterparts. But for name brands, there’s a sensitivity to seasonality, and they have to make some difficult decisions and ask themselves some key questions as the market reopens in the coming months:

  • Will deep discounts come across as too aggressive?
  • Is it worth holding on to certain items and wait out the season?
  • What other avenues can be explored to offset loss and offload excess?

Even as these brands and retailers grapple with their options, one thing is clear: None of their current streams of offloading surplus will be enough. In addition, past recessions have shown that even as economic conditions improve, consumers will still look for deals.

So, what does this mean for the future of retail as quarantine orders are slowly lifted? Who can retailers partner with to help drive demand for their surplus, while offsetting loss? B-Stock. Our B2B marketplace platform generates more demand through thousands of vetted business buyers in a private setting that allows the seller to place restrictions, protecting their brand.

We can build an auction marketplace customized and scaled based on each retailer’s needs and goals. That’s why nine out of the top 10 U.S. retailers are leveraging our platform to drive demand and achieve higher pricing, as well as a faster sales cycle—all while maintaining brand integrity. 

Let us know how we can help you harness the value of the secondary market to offload your surplus. Schedule a demo today.

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