The weekly newsletter for everyone interested in barter--the world's most versatile business tool!
September 4, 2001
Economy Following Unusual Slow-Down Pattern
For the first time ever, the manufacturing and industrial sectors of the economy are slowing down before the consumer slow-down. Not knowing what the consumer will do, retailers are already hedging their bets for the coming holiday season by scheduling orders for goods as close to Christmas as possible.
(Manufacturers usually ship the bulk of holiday merchandise in August and September, but retailers are already canceling, deferring and cutting back orders at unprecedented rates.)
Internet holidays sales, according to Jupiter Media Metrix, will be "much more modest" than last year's 54% increase. Like last year, web sites of brick-and-mortar retailers, not pure-play internet companies, will get the overwhelming majority of holiday sales.
Given these conditions, trade exchanges across the country should do record business this holiday season.
Cendent's Move Shows That Excess Inventory Needs More Outlets
The recent acquisition by Cendent of Cheap Tickets, an internet-travel agency, reinforces the problem that the travel industry has...namely the need for more conduits to move their unsold inventory.
Cendent owns and franchises a global network of travel-service brands which includes rental-car company Avis Group Holdings and hotel chains Ramada Inn and Howard Johnson. Their forward thinking simply reinforces the fact that every day a percentage of their hotel rooms and cars sit empty--and it's costing them money.
So the Internet, i.e. Cheap Tickets and their earlier acquisition of the global-reservation system Trip.com, will enable them to move more of their excess inventory. The barter marketplace is another avenue to move excess travel inventory, but as yet the industry hasn't grown to the size and stature that can begin to handle the enormous inventories available.
Note: Last year consumers spent $13.2 billion on airline
tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars online according
to data compiled by Forrester Research. That is three
times the $4.3 billion consumers spent last year on computer
hardware, the next biggest category of online shopping.
Here And There. . .
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