I must have received two hundred e-mails requesting I go to New York, and yes. Europe in May and June for appointments for pre Spring (November/December deliveries). This delivery may be 25% of the overall buy for the Spring/Summer season. I will have to go back in September/October for a January-March delivery. There is something wrong with this. I have been wailing about this since some marketing genius came up with this idea seven years ago. Hey, he/she thought that for Christmas, since every store was on sale and no one wanted to buy marked down apparel for presents, stores could supply fresh pre-spring merchandise that consumers would buy as “holiday presents”. But all that move did was change the consumers’ buying habits to eliminate apparel as a desired “holiday gift”, and stores are full of spring merchandise when it’s freezing out. Here’s the rub, after five months it’s just beginning to feel like spring in Boston. The weather has been awful, and this has made spring late …. so I’m in pre spring buying for well… pre spring????? I know our weather is different from the rest of the country but that just means a longer period of warm weather for others. If the fall season could be fall merchandise for well …..”the Fall months” and then spring could be delivered when the weather IS turning warmer things would be as they should be . If vendors could just show once a season instead making buyers travel twice a season or four times a year think of the time and energy we all would be saving. Vendors could easily spread out their deliveries (December-March), even the designers would be relieved because they really only have one focus a season ….that is really viable (if they were to admit it).
Just to prove that there is a reality gap in the northeast, it’s 50 degrees today and here are some pictures from my garden right now….
Here’s my prediction, it’s going to be too expensive to give inventories away anymore (on sale). Stores will have to pay up to 30% more to replace that inventory. Why shorten a season when adding merchandise is too costly? So will pre spring remain relevant? Will the fall season clothing stay in stores through the cold months? Will all these stores readjust their timetables to coincide with reality? Will giving apparel for Christmas or the holidays regain it’s importance again? How will American stores teach the consumer to appreciate what they are buying instead of purchasing for the sake of purchasing something that has been marked down?
Get ready for inflation it’s coming….and it’s going to change our purchasing habits from consumers to stores’ timetables….hopefully.