Blog: Leonie BarrieChange is afoot in the retail calendar

Leonie Barrie | 2 December 2014

Change is afoot across the retail scene. Once a bellwether of US retailers' likely performance over the upcoming holiday, sales during the just-gone Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend have dropped for the second year in a row.

A combination of ever-earlier promotions, the continued growth of online shopping, and an improving economy all appear to be changing the way US consumers approach what has traditionally been the biggest shopping weekend of the year. 

But it also seems that consumer spending patterns are steadily shifting away from apparel to big ticket items related to the home, autos, accessories and handbags, smartphones, tablets and wearable tech.

David Strasser, analyst at Janney Capital Markets, even goes as far as suggesting "2015 could be the year retailers realise Black Friday/Thanksgiving super sales are a losing proposition."

While this is especially the case for vendors of consumer electronics like TVs, where manufacturers are stepping in to maintain brand integrity and have woken up to the fact that prolonged promotions only have a modest impact on demand but a massive impact on profits - the message doesn't seem to have reached apparel retailers, where promotions "remain aggressive."

Stifel Research analyst Richard Jaffe believes another issue here is the lack of newness, which in turn gives consumers little need to update their wardrobes. "Many of the trends [are] a continuation of what we saw in fall/winter 2013 and spring/summer 2014," he says, adding: "This will likely hold back apparel sales in 4Q."

But while the Black Friday pace seems to be slowing in the US, on the other side of the Atlantic it's taking off with a renewed frenzy. Some research suggests half of UK shoppers made a purchase, spending a record GBP1.6bn in the process. 

High street retailers are under pressure to recoup lacklustre sales of knitwear and outwear following the unseasonably warm autumn, but like their US counterparts, a run of deals and promotions will eat into much-needed profit margin.

While it looks like Black Friday is set to become a permanent fixture in the UK retail calendar, those relying heavily on short-term sales are also set to become more deeply mired in the trap where shoppers refuse to pay full price and instead shop around for deeper discounts and offers.

Click on the following link for more insight: Is Black Friday losing its lustre?

Sectors: Apparel, Footwear, Retail

BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

NEWS

US Q4 in brief – Carter's, Kohl's, L Brands, Iconix Brand Group

In the most recent fourth-quarter filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers, Carter's booked a record quarter, VF Corporation revealed a fall in both sales and earnings for the fourth ...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

NEWS

Top stories this week on just-style...

Top stories this week on just-style include a look at how the crackdown on Bangladesh labour activists has cost the country's garment industry around US$100m, Adidas and Burberry have been recognised ...

BLOG

Trump administration starts to shake up trade

Last week we marked the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States by taking a closer look at what's at stake for the textile and apparel trade – especially his promises t...

NEWS

Gerry Weber warns of "difficult" year ahead as profits slump

US fashion house Gerry Weber has warned of a difficult and challenging year ahead as it revealed lower earnings in its last fiscal weighed down by charges related to its realignment programme....

BLOG

Likely shifts in the sourcing landscape in 2017

Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?