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Now that the autumn weather has set in, sales of fall collections are picking up. Women's fashion sales rose by more than 18 per cent in the past month, EK Retail figures show.
We have had a beautiful Indian summer. Temperatures remained high for a long time and, as a result, sales of the autumn collections got off to a poor start. Wintertime has now set in and autumn got off to a good start with lots of rain, wind and lower temperatures. Together, this created a different mindset among consumers, and this was directly reflected in clothing sales. According to data from retail organisation EK Retail, fashion retailers in the women's fashion segment have increased 31 and 25 per cent respectively in the last two weeks of October. In the first two weeks of November, women's fashion sales saw a 10 and 7 per cent increase in turnover respectively.
Women's fashion sales this selling season so far are on average six per cent above last year. This is largely due to price increases though (of sometimes as much as 5 to 8 per cent). Indeed, sales rose by 1 per cent. Women's fashion is doing slightly better than men's fashion in this respect, because so far this season, men's fashion has achieved a 5 per cent increase in sales on a 1 per cent decrease. In women's fashion, resale is now (mid-November) at 52 per cent on average.
Trousers and blazers
At product level, it is striking that trousers are a favourite: eleven per cent more was spent on them. Skinnies are passé and there is a clear shift towards wider styles. Anything metallic is also doing well with all target groups: from metallic threaded trousers to silver and gold coated trousers. Jeans are also on the rise again. They are not necessarily the models from pure blue brands, but rather from fashion brands. Combined with a big oversized jacket, a T-shirt and sneakers. Sneakers continue to do well.
Blazers made a plus of 27 per cent on average in women's fashion. Oversized blazers are not bought with a blouse, but with a T-shirt. Suit sales are also continuing. This is somewhat at the expense of sweater sales, but that will pick up when it gets really cold. So far, sweaters are more popular than cardigans, after several winters when the cardigan was popular. The more expensive cashmere sweaters are selling very well, despite the higher price tag.
Coat sales rose 6 per cent so far this season and are now above the sales level compared to this time last year. Luxury wool coats have flown out the door. Fluffy coats with a dose of fun are also doing well; with sheep curls, big collars and wide fit. The more expensive functional coats, on the other hand, people are leaving them for a while. It is quite possible that sales will only pick up when it gets really cold. The cheaper functional jackets are doing well. Probably with a target group that consciously chooses a functional, timeless coat that can last several winters.
"But let's not cheer too early, because we will have to keep working hard for great turnover in the coming weeks," says Natascha van Ree, account manager at EK Fashion. "How do we get the customer to the store? How do we reach the new customer and also the customer who knows us but is less loyal to our shop? And, once the customer is in, do we all pay enough attention to additional sales? After all, we desperately need those in a market where the customer spends more consciously, and the sales surplus still mainly comes from price increases."
EK Retail hopes that the market remains calm in November and that we don't end up on sale immediately after the Black Friday violence. "That's bad for the final margin," Van Ree emphasizes. "With the ever-increasing costs, it is important not only to look at turnover, but also at the costs and what remains at the bottom line. To achieve the best return, everything has to be right: from the employees on the floor, shop appearance and assortment to stock management, cost control and marketing. That’s why it is important to go to Modefabriek in January. To spot new brands and view collections from existing suppliers and, based on that, adjust budgets for the winter 2024 buying round."
Written by Rosita van der Kwaak in collaboration with EK Retail