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Finally. After closed doors and shopping by appointment, the stores can reopen. The front pages of various newspapers captured queues of shoppers outside the large fast fashion chains, but for most retailers, this was this anything but the reality. It stayed quiet. The distorted view offered by the media was actually counterproductive for the retailers. Because as retail organisation Euretco points out: in times of coronavirus, queues of people can be off-putting. And the spring weather failing to materialise also doesn’t help the cause. Time to take stock: how is the fashion industry doing?
Recent months have put retailers’ resilience to the test. Euretco notes that looking at all segments as a whole, retail turnover is still down 35% on 2019. And that’s quite a chasm to bridge. Stores reopening is the first step towards boosting the disappointing figures. It is somewhat unfortunate that other unpredictabilities, such as the weather, still have their say. The current temperatures hardly encourage people to shop the summer collection, or even to venture outside at all, for that matter.
In the women’s segment, Euretco indicates that the relatively low April temperatures have resulted in a 44% rise in trouser sales compared to last year, while jackets are up 14%. These are items that shoppers can wear right now, in contrast to items in the summer collection. And we have also seen growth in these categories in the gent’s segment. Men bought 20% more jackets and 16% more trousers than in the previous year. It is worth noting that we’re looking at figures from 2021 compared to 2020, when we global pandemic was already upon us.
For fashion businesses to see a rise in sales, the weather quickly needs to change for the better. There are also potential gains in postponing the sales. If retailers opt en masse for a subtle drop in the price of their collections from the first quarter of 2021, and only introduce the major sales in late July or early August, there are still three months left to get the summer collections off the shelves, concludes Euretco. Chin up and move boldly forwards remains the message for retailers. Because in a bright future for fashion, Euretco still has every confidence.
Written by Marjolein Stormezand in collaboration with Euretco.