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- Introduction or Incoming Phase Stage: products are characterized by low sales and losses, as well as high risk. A limited number of high-income or innovative customer are the target market
- Growth or Pre-Peak Stage: When the innovative consumers purchase products and recommend them to friends, the product enters the growth stage. The most desirable products for retailers are those in this stage because they are characterized by accelerating sales and the highest –profit levels of any stage. In the growth stage, product variations begin to appear and the number of retailers carrying the product expands.
- Maturity or Peak Stage: Sales increase at a slower rate and finally begin to level off.
- Characteristics of this stage are a highly competitive market, falling prices and profits, and more intensive advertising. This is the most competitive stage, and price is prominently mentioned in promotions.
- Decline and Outgoing Stage: During the decline stage, the target market shrinks and price cutting minimizes profit margins. Normally, products reaching this stage are dropped, and heavy markdowns are taken on remaining inventory.