The fashion world has suffered one of the biggest downturns in history. The pandemic has changed consumer habits and brands have had to change their strategies: welcome to the new era of stock reduction. The sales will start on 23 June, a reason for consumers to rejoice and for many brands to replenish their wallets.
During the pandemic fashion brands have been hit hard, people could not go out on the streets and therefore could not shop. All the shops were closed and only started opening their doors a few weeks ago. First the small shops and gradually, following the security measures, the larger ones.
When do the summer sales start? Officially in Catalonia they are held from 1 July to 31 August, but the big brands in the sector have announced that they will start their sales earlier. Mango starts on 18 June, H&M on 20 June and Inditex starts on 23 June with online sales and in shops on 24 June.
Growth of up to 300% in online sales
Yerse, a company founded in Barcelona in 1964, “has had a pretty good time”, says Ingrid Tarragó, director of marketing and communication. “Adapting to the constraints, changing things and making decisions quickly to adapt sales to the needs of the consumer. Yerse’s online shop sales have increased by 300%”.
Tarragó explains that “fashion is experienced in different ways, people who still have money and have not spent it, you can see that they consume more in fashion, the value of the average sale has increased. There are also those who, emotionally, need retail therapy. Customer service is much more valued, personalised, and people are very aware of the environment”.
As for the sales, Ingrid tells us: “the forecast is good, it always is. Moreover, on this occasion, it coincides with the end of the restrictions and the state of alarm. The summer sales will have the best discounts. In short, everything is a paradox: sustainable, long-lasting purchases, but in the end we are driven by price and opportunity”.
Sustainability, slow fashion and short collections
There is talk of new trends, the new slow fashion and sustainability, this crash has compelled brands to change their ways, they have learned to have a smaller stock and smaller collections, fast fashion is in decline.
The sales are just around the corner and the prognosis is very favourable. People have not been spending for many months. The proximity of summer is raising adrenaline levels and the mood is lively and people are eager to leave behind one of the worst years in human history.
Brands have to take advantage of this and use their best marketing tools and sell all those clothes that haven’t been touched and tried on for months.
Bigger discounts are the norm, we have to take into account the economic crisis we are experiencing, so if they want to finish the season with positive numbers they have to lower the sales margin and help consumers renew their wardrobes.
What has happened during these months?
Brands which already had an e-commerce platform, which is the same as an online shop, have been able to cover the costs with the sales that have been derived from this line. The online world has increased sales by a very high percentage and is expected to continue to grow.
However, brands that had opted for physical shops have fallen more quickly, the months of closure have brought ERTEs, ICOs and in many cases shop closures. There is a long list of brands with years of experience that have not overcome this moment.
If we talk about the consumer, we can confirm that their mentality has changed, their spending habits during the weeks of confinement, it was said that people had tidied up their wardrobes and were surprised by the amount of clothes they had and did not wear. This reflection means that from now on their impulse to buy will be different. Before going to the checkout, many people are going to ask themselves: do I need it?
Now it is time to start again. Fashion brands have probably learned a lot from this pandemic. It is clear to them that there cannot be big stock-outs. It is a great time to think about sustainable fashion and to go back to pampering the customer. Something that, from 2022 in Barcelona, will also be possible on Sundays and public holidays.
For the time being, from 1 July to 31 August, shops will have a good opportunity to boost sales and give people back the desire to buy the latest fashion to wear this summer.