Retailers offering discounts and waiving shipping fees to entice shoppers

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials in numerous states and cities in the U.S. have imposed store closures for all "non-essential" businesses to curb the spread of the virus. Resultantly, several retailers have waived shipping fees, offering discounts to the public to encourage them to shop. In an email sent to customers on Friday, Nike stated:

Right now, it’s more important than ever to make sure athletes like you are healthy and positive.... That’s why we’re giving you 25% off everything.

Jessica Ramirez, an analyst at Jane Hali & Associates, noted that the move was surprising as Nike usually offers discounts only on certain categories. According to estimates from financial services firm Cowen & Co, the revenue of the sportswear giant could decrease by a third during the quarter which ends on May 31. The company has had hundreds of stores closed across the U.S. coupled with supply disruptions and the suspension of NBA season as a result of COVID-19. Therefore, revenue shortfall is expected this quarter.

Due to store closures, retailers are keen to offer discounts and waive shipping fees in a bid to make-up for zero foot traffic. Nordstrom, which stated on Monday that all its U.S. based stores would be closed, offered a 25% discount through the company's site. The company also pulled its fiscal 2020 forecast recently, as did Abercrombie & Fitch and the RealReal among others.

Retailers including LVMH's Sephora and Macy's, which closed stores across the country earlier this week, have lowered the minimum amount shoppers must spend to have their shipments delivered free of cost. In some cases, the shipping fees are being wholly waived.

Source: Reuters

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