The Big Story: Retail's Silent Night

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Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) –- Davidowitz & Associates' Howard Davidowitz, Nomura Securities Simeon Siegel and Bloomberg's Julie Hyman discuss disappointing holiday retail sales with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." Siegel owns no stock in any of the stocks mentioned. (Source: Bloomberg)

Howard -- it makes sense.

Who wants to go and stand in line and deal with holiday crowds if you can shop online.

Do it that way now.

Someone is paying the price, the brick-and-mortar.

It depends what segment.

If you go to michael kors or tiffany's, people go to the stores.

If you are in sporting goods, you are doing terrific.

It depends what business you are in.

Some are doing extremely well.

If you are in the middle class, susan cole's -- sears and kohl's. a lot of places are discounting and that is hurting margins.

Almost everyone, with the exception of a few higher and retailers, you are seeing discounts.

A lot of people are shopping online, but the online retailers are not immune to discount.

Look at amazon or some other online retailers, you're still getting deals.

The concerned there is that even their -- you are getting too good a deal.

Amazon has a margin issue anyway.

Maybe they are offering free shipping.

Margin pressure whether you talk about bricks and mortar or online.

How messy is it for companies looking at all these discounts this year?

I think you are looking at 50% off for the price of entry.

Historically, people a full price.

That became funny present, then 40%. 50% is the magic number.

The leverage you have now is time and price.

You can either go earlier -- they do not have either.

It is a six-day shorter selling season, there goes time.

As far as price goes -- a 50% is the new 20%. you have not used the d word.

I think there is a race to the bottom on margin.

That's why most retailers have lower earnings.

The problem is how do you get margins and a play for the consumers are watching every dollar.

How are they going -- they can compare prices easier than ever.

You think of what the consumer has been through the last couple years.

You think about 2008. everyone suddenly started looking for that bargain.

It almost feels as though it was a shift that stuck with us.

We have been in this environment with slow economic growth.

People have been uncertain about their future, uncertain about their jobs.

As a result, they have really sought to spend less.

And so, that oregon has become -- that bargain has become all the more important.

Leslie get the real numbers.

No psychology.

Medium income five years ago, 50 $7,000. it is now $51,000. new jobs this year, 77% part-time compounding wage.

-- p overty wage.

They are spending on some things.

They are buying furniture, cars.

Big-ticket items.

If the budget is already stretched and these are the things they feel like they have to buy or they really want to buy, then there is less money for clothing.

That has been hit pretty hard.

And some of these other items.

Simeon, winners versus losers,. to julie's point, abercrombie & fitch, aeropostale are losers.

People are willing to spend if you give them a reason to spend on certain items.

You look at the gap.

Winners are eight mar-- a m arket share dollar game.

Urban outfitters, you have the concept in teen retail, anthropologie is selling at full price.

There is an element of boredom.

Quality boredom?

There is no reason to go and buy something new because there is no makeshift.

-- no big shift in what people are wearing.

No colored jeans.

Teens feel most pressure.

Do you think the idea that there has been a shift -- not just because of what people are up against.

Even for those that found jobs and are doing better, do they expect to get a better bargain right now?

No doubt about it, the consumer is more price aware.

They have more ability to compare prices.

Online tablet affect 40% of purchases.

This is huge.

It is only 7% of the business but it affects 40% of decisions.

Because they are researching before -- researching before they buy.

They are able to do it.

I had not thought of it.

People go online and compare prices.

They say where can i get this cheapest.

That is a huge factor not talked about enough.

What influences the purchase?

Hubert joly of best buy, the second-best performer of the s&p, he said last year that we will match amazon.

Now they have to and it is part of their policy.

If you are in electronics, there is no differentiation of products.

Why would you pay more for a commodity?

How do you compete?

In this kind of environment -- if you can only compete on price.

Do you need scale?

You have to be different and creative, like a michael kors.

A lot of people are very curious and finding new niches.

If you do the same thing everybody else is doing and the only different is price and convenience.

What about michael kors?

A lot of people think his products are different.

Price, value, product developer.

They are different.

His fans are different.

His accessories are different.

Sleek.

A lot of people like it.

That is true of what we were talking about, gap has managed better.

Urban is the same situation.

Abercrombie and american eagle have not done that.

It still matters what you are selling.

You brought of cigna, cigna tells a commodity, the -- you brought up signet, signet sells a commodity.

They spend 6% on marketing, everyone knows the jingle.

He went to jared, every kiss begins with kay.

You tell people that this is a brand and it goes far.

I am willing to spend for that.

That is why this company is doing a good job.

This is my take away, differentiate yourself.

Whether you spend more on marketing or you have these edgy products.

Take a step back and look at the stocks.

The commentary around retail has been terrible for months and months.

I looked at retail stocks since thanksgiving, they are kind of flat.

Why aren't people selling these as a group?

They will.

It is trading near records

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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