THE WEEKLY SHOP REPORT
Sienna Miller and a cosmopolitan will not shift the minds of bargain hunting buyers to expensive retail therapy0
It was a rainy June in Gotham; and coupled with lingering worries about our economy, early summer yielded even more setbacks for retail. While the losses were less than previous months – Saks reported minus 20% for May, but only minus 15% for May and June combined – retail still struggled to regain footing. Summer months are expected to remain tough and hopefully (fingers crossed) pick up for back-to-school, under normal circumstances, a busy season for retail.
Unfortunately, these are far from normal circumstances, and everyone from fashion mavens to magazine editors know it. In fact, this year’s Fashion’s Night Out, scheduled for September 10th, is gaining more participants than ever. Worldwide, participants are scurrying to register and provide details of their upscale designer-salvaging plans – proof that desperation prevails in the sagging global economy. Malls in Beijing, Avenue Montaigne in Paris, Via Della Spiga in Rome and a multitude of high end stores in New York City aim to lure shoppers to purchase designer duds despite their dwindling savings.
In Gotham, Fashion’s Night Out kicks off New York Fashion week and is hosted by The Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Co., New York City, and of course, Vogue. Anna Wintour’s brainchild, Fashion’s Night Out’s purpose, she says, is to “remind everyone how wonderful shopping can be.” Um, thanks. Events are slated for celebrity appearances and aim to lubricate consumer’s consciousness with – wait for it – alcohol! But can we really expect Sienna Miller and a cosmopolitan to shift the minds of bargain hunting buyers to expensive retail therapy in a matter of months. Probably not.
Stores are hoping just getting consumers in the doors will lure them into purchasing spicy fall trends (above), but the tactic may just rub consumers the wrong way. While shopping has declined, when people do shop, they search for a bargain.The mode of consumers now is deliberate, conscious purchasing with emphasis on quality and cost. Sample sales and websites such as Rue La La and Ideeli realize this and are offering reduced prices on trends but also classic wardrobe essentials. And with sales at nearly every imaginable retailer – this week alone, our calendar highlighted retail sales at Calvin Klein, Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade – large fall purchases seem, well, unrealistic.
Nevertheless, if the end of August leaves you yearning for fall trends and in dire need a drink, hit up one of the 300 participating stores in the New York area. You can have a drink and figure out what you don’t need to buy for fall.
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