(Sorry for the inaccurate gender — is there a Tilli? But that’s the way the pun works.)
The online retailer who broke the keystone pricing non-secret secret posted last week (September 20; I only saw it today) that she had received a reply from Tilli Tomas: the company is apparently suspending its keystone pricing policy. Whether this means that we’ll see more variation in TT retail prices, and whether that means that this particular retailer will continue to be supplied by TT, however, are yet to be determined.
Check out the comments: some anonymous poster claimed it was “a bit immoral” to consciously sell at a “much lower” price than one’s competitors. Said anonymous poster also said it was “wrong” to publicize the Tilli Tomas issue, because it may cause other suppliers to think twice about selling her yarn. In that respect, well, it’s certainly not the wisest thing, because there are lots of competing retailers out there; on the other hand, if it’s evident that such a retailer is also successful because her customers trust her to sell at a fair, unfixed price below the MSRP, maybe the suppliers don’t care.
I can understand why a supplier may elect not to supply a certain class of retailer (online vs. bricks-and-mortar or catering-to-fools-with-lots-of-discretionary-income vs. jobbers-catering-to-bargain-hunters): that’s not the same as supplying only those who agree to sell only at a fixed retail price. You only have so much stock to go around; you may choose to have it sold in places that give you the most prestige for your brand, or the stores that you feel are more likely to survive in the long haul (when the big crash hits the knitting market) and invest in supporting their product lines (for example, by teaching classes to ensure a surviving customer base).
In the meantime, Ana mentioned in the comments to the first TT post that she started a blog to track keystone pricing policies to keep the consumer informed: it’s here.