The idea of big savings for consumers on Black Friday may be nothing more than a "myth," according to a firm that specializes in tracking price points on behalf of the retail industry. 360pi Corp. is an Ottawa startup that tracked and recorded the pricing of more than 8,000 items offered at mainstream U.S. retailers between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, a period that included last week's Black Friday sales. What the firm found was that not only are prices not competitive with those online, in some cases retailers raised average prices in anticipation of Black Friday shopping mobs.

Ottawa, Ontario – Toys ‘R’ Us, which carries about 425 of the same video games as, is on average 37% higher priced than Amazon as of Nov 21. The latest Amazon Holiday Pricing Insights... has the best price on products in its assortment about 80 percent of the time. However, the new "Amazon Holiday Pricing Insights" analysis from pricing technology provider 360pi shows that Amazon does have weak spots, and that retailers can compete with the online giant, especially if they can beat Amazon on other nonprice purchase factors. For example, once Home Depot decided to be price competitive on Oct. 26, it was instantly and dynamically able to beat Amazon prices on power drills. 

We reported last week that lululemon's CEO Christine Day said "You'll either offer promotions or not, and we're in the ‘not’ category." But lululemon is in the Yogabowl Warehouse Sale at Nassau Coliseum, an epic shopping event exclusive to those within range of Long Island from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3. Obviously this sale is different than your regular sales rack. There will be tailgating. There will be snacks. It's in a coliseum. The intent isn't to get bodies in the store, like promotions and sales attempt to do, so technically the company is getting rid of its surplus items without diluting the "no sale" branding.

Toronto -- Sears Canada, Inc., an arm of Sears Holdings Corp., said Friday it has completed the transaction with landlord The Cadillac Fairview Corp. to return three stores for $170 million. The stores – located in Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa – are slated to be exited by Sears as of Oct 31, 2012. The agreement between Sears and the landlord was first announced in March.

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