It was said the month of November would be a warm one for the east coast and it looks like that trend is continuing according to a report from The New York Times. Retailers aren’t selling as many winter clothing as in previous years because shoppers aren’t interested in buying warm clothing.
The declining sales of winter clothing was exemplified by a report by Phil Wahba of Fortune in which he writes that “Sales of women’s boots, a major category for stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penney, fell 13% across the United States in the week ended December 12…” Wahba also explained that “apparel-only stores have already lost $343 million through December 12. And that tally doesn’t even include the department stores.”
Sales aren’t only declining at large retail stores. Stuart Greenberg, owner of Cornishe Furs, in Manhattan when he said, “for the first 10 years of our business, we never even paid attention to the weather. It always just got cold.” Now that it’s not just getting cold, Greenberg and other retailers are having to plan ahead based on the weather. “These days, we wake up and we look at the 10-day forecast to see whether we’re going to do business or not,” said Greenberg.
This following reports in November that sales would decline this winter as department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom released low sales number for the third quarter of 2015. Lauren Indvik, editor-at-large of Fashionista, writes
Nordstrom execs said they plan to keep on doing what they’ve been doing — “managing our inventories appropriately, making sure our website has the right stuff to sell” — but that they didn’t expect things to substantially pick up over the holidays. As such, they lowered their full-year sales guidance: Sales are now estimated to only increase 7.5 to 8.5 percent for the full fiscal year, versus an earlier estimate of 8.5 to 9.5 percent. Gross profits are also now expected to decrease 50 to 60 percent year-over-year.
Black Friday didn’t seem to help profits either. Julia Zorthian reported in an article on Time.com that Black Friday sales were down by more than 1 billion dollars writing that “brick and mortar sales on Black Friday fell from $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2015…” and that “sales on Thanksgiving fell from just over $2 billion to $1.8 billion. Both decreases are attributed to the increase in online sales…”
These reports aren’t very surprising, though, as wearing warm weather clothing and baring your skin during the winter has been on trend lately anyway. Even if the weather does cool down, people still might not want to buy winter clothing. Ridiculous as it may be, Vogue does a good job of explaining the trend.
Consequently, retailers will just have to have more sales events or wait for the spring for sales to increase. They could also try to do more collaborations with luxury brands like H&M did with Balmain. Those clothes would sell out quickly.
So, what do you think? Should retailers have more sales events? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get new posts sent directly to your inbox and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
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