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Oversupply, Damage Sees $163 Billion in Inventory Tossed Annually

A year ago, when supply chains were clogged and US retailers were racing to meet demand, companies pivoted to ordering more inventory than usual and doing it earlier in the season.

Now, as demand slackens, American store chains are sitting on so much inventory that brands — particularly for apparel and housewares — have resorted to listing their goods on resale websites, hosting sample sales and even giving stuff to employees.