Haggar Announces New Leadership



BJA Auctions Antique

& Estate Jewelry



Final Phase of Continental GOB Sale



Continental Jewelry Closing in Tampa



Unico Designs

the look to hold Two-Store retirement



Surya Capital in Association with BJA Purchase Robbins Diamonds Inventory



Jewelers Could Have

A Happier Holiday This Year



Maharaja's Loses Beachfront Store

as Oil Wary Tourists Avoid the Gulf



Buxbaum Group Relocates



Michael Lebowitz Joins

Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors



Lisa Ketrick Joins

Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors



Gold-Buying Helps Jewelers

Weather Great Recession



Buxbaum Jewelry Advisors

Helps Hoff Family Jewelers



Rapid Sale of $1.5 M Inventory Shows  Demand for Value Jewelry



Highly successful sale for

Henricks Jewelers Bonita Springs



M.J. Christensen Plans To

Reopen Under New Name



Filene's Basement Files

For Chapter 11



M.J. Christensen

Store Closing



Reviewing All 'Available

Business Options’ for Filene's



Jewelry Superstore Offers

Huge Discounts In

Going Out Of Business Sale



Retailers to Shout 'Value!' from the Rooftops This Holiday Season



Buxbaum Forms Wholesale, Retail

Jewelry Liquidation Venture



Toys, Games, and Collectibles

Offered at Huge Discounts



Dismal Consumer Confidence

Undermines 'Immunity'

of Luxury Retail



Gigantic Inventory Clearance Sale

Makes Dream Kitchens A Reality



Western Wear Chains Offering Huge Savings at Special Inventory Sale



Shoppers Can Expect Quick Holiday  Bargains As Worried Retailers Cut Prices



Rosslyn Hotel Renovation

into Affordable and

Market-Rate Housing



Retailers's Shift Away

from Purchasing Contracts



Buxbaum Group Relocates

to Agoura Hills, CA



Downturn Means Uncertainty For

New Breed of Asset-Based Lenders



Collectors Art

Going-Out-of-Business Sale



Buxbaum Group Announces Senior Executive Changes



What Will the Holiday Season Bring



Marcos and York Join Buxbaum Group

Asset Appraisal Group



Acquisition of Honduran Factory to

Help Indosheen Regain Prominence



Buxbaum Group Readies

Indosheen for More Growth



 Confirmation Hearing on

Waterman Reorganization



Buxbaum Group

Gets Gramicci

Back On Track



Buxbaum Group the Key to

Sale of Rampage


Buxbaum Group Inventory
Appraisals Hit $5.0 Bil.
in 2003


David Buxbaum Named to Local
Airport and Hospital Boards



Right Start Stores Now in
Liquidation Mode, As Court
Rejects Offer On Business

Buxbaum Group Inventory
Appraisals Exceed $3.5 Bil.
on Target to Reach $5.0 Bil.
for 2003


Inventory Clearance Sales
Begin in All 142 FAO Schwarz,
Zany Brainy, and the
Right Start Stores


Buxbaum Group Appraised
Approx. $4.0 Billion
in Inventories in 2002


Court Approves GOB Sales
For Troutman's Emporium;
Buxbaum Group, Others
to Run Liquidation


RETAILERS TO SHOUT ‘VALUE!’ FROM THE ROOFTOPS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AS CLEAR-EYED SHOPPERS FOCUS ON PRICE - Early promotions, sluggish sales to take a toll on profits, forecasts Buxbaum Group’s Stevan Buxbaum

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (11/26/08) – In holidays past, mall retailers sought to outdo one another by creating elegant window displays designed to convey the warmth and magic of the season. This year, however, sluggish traffic and lackluster sales will force retailers to woo shoppers with all the subtlety of a carnival barker hawking tickets to a sideshow, says retailing veteran Stevan Buxbaum, executive vice president of Agoura Hills, Calif.-based Buxbaum Group, the consulting and turnaround investment firm.

“You could call this the ‘Battle of the Signs,’ ” Buxbaum says. “Instead of the windows being done up like something out of ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ they’ll be done up like a liquidation sale. The signage will be intense and extreme, with messages like ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ and ‘Everything 25% Off!’ ”

Given the onslaught of gloomy economic news, Buxbaum says, it is little wonder both retailers and shoppers are now inclined to favor realism over sentiment. (Indeed, consumer confidence sank to an all-time low in October.) For shoppers, this will translate into a laser-like focus on saving money, as well as a clear-eyed understanding that some of their favorite retail chains likely will go under once the season is over.

“You can see this with the ongoing shift in attitudes about gift cards,” Buxbaum says. “Millions of shoppers now are sending and receiving e-mails that warn people not to buy gift cards at a long list of bankrupt or ailing chains. There is growing recognition among shoppers that these chains may not be around much longer to honor the cards.”

For retailers, on the other hand, the challenge amid these daunting dynamics will be to shout bargain-themed messages as loudly as possible. Some will choose to stock their stores with the cheapest goods in their inventories. This focus on value is all the more imperative because of this year’s inauspicious retail calendar, Buxbaum adds. “Thanksgiving is about as late as possible this year,” he notes. “That means the all-important shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas—a time when many retailers count on raking in most of their money—is extremely short. Chains just can’t afford to take a chance. In fact, we’re already seeing a huge and early increase in promotional activity, and this will continue.”

But these early promotions will come at a cost for some chains. American Eagle, for one, already has suffered steep drops in profitability as a result of its newfound emphasis on value-priced goods, Buxbaum says. “When promotional activity comes sooner, that lowers profit margins because chains must take deep discounts right away instead of just after Christmas,” he explains. “If you combine the truncated calendar, expectations of dismal holiday sales and these early promotions, you have a formula for flat or negative same-store sales.”

Value-focused national retailers like T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Wal-Mart and Ross Dress for Less clearly stand a better chance than some of their competitors this season, Buxbaum notes. But a value-focused approach is less of an option for names like Abercrombie & Fitch, which has chosen to endure lower comp-store sales rather than risk the reputation of its upscale brand by going cheap, Buxbaum says.

Keeping inventories lean is a widespread strategy in such uncertain circumstances, but it also carries a risk for retailers, he notes. “The best and most desirable merchandise sells out faster when you strip inventories to the bone,” he says. “By mid-December, many stores are going to be fairly broken in terms of what merchandise they have available. In past seasons, people would have just bought a gift card if they couldn’t find the item they were looking for. This year, they’ll think twice about that.”

In the run up to the holiday season, the list of troubling economic indicators is dauntingly long. Some analysts may differ on whether dips in, say, consumer confidence always mean shoppers will close their wallets. For Buxbaum, though, other bellwethers clearly spell trouble for retail.

“What is telling is the lack of visits to malls—traffic is down—as well as declines in the total number of retail transactions taking place,” Buxbaum says. “People have lost the feeling right now that shopping is a sport. They are finding other things to do with their time.”

About Buxbaum Group - Buxbaum Group has built its reputation for over 30 years as one of the largest liquidators and appraisers of retail and wholesale inventories across North America. While continuing to operate in those areas, the company has shifted its primary focus in recent years to turnaround investing.

Press Contacts: At Buxbaum Group, Stevan Buxbaum (612) 363-6517; at Parness & Associates Public Relations, Bill Parness or Lisa Kreda, (732) 290-0121