So far, Wal-Mart, Target and Kohl’s are among more than two dozen major chains that lowered their profit outlooks for either the quarter or the year. A big reason is the expectation that they’ll have to offer huge discounts in order to get shoppers to spend.
There are already signs that retailers are aggressively discounting. Wal-Mart had already started matching or beating the prices that certain competitors like Best Buy are advertising for some toys and electronics for Black Friday. Best Buy also matches rivals’ prices, even after customers have purchased items. And Target, better known for its whimsical advertising, is touting its prices in holiday TV ads for the first time in at least a decade.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.