Remember the dot com days when some web retailers had ZERO interest in actually turning a profit on what they sold? Their goal was to keep sales rising to stoke Wall Street's fixation with predictable revenue increases. (profits be damned!)
That nonsense led to price cutting and insane ad expenditures. X10 (which sought to cash out with an IPO) and Network Solutions (which sold out for the ludicrous amount of $21 BILLION) come to mind as firms where the bottom line was of no interest to management.
Don't assume all retailers have the same goals you have.