Retail Detail. Spring Discounts Are Beginning to Bloom

April 21, 2009 • Fashion


Ah, spring. The birds are chirping, the temperatures are slowly rising, trees are begging to bud and the sales are beginning to bloom. You used to have to wait until Memorial Day Weekend to score some great spring deals, but with retailers still suffering from excessive inventories, the spring cleaning has begun.

According to WWD, like fall’s early and aggressive markdowns, the
first spring price cuts are already starting, particularly in the luxury
tier and women’s categories. Last Bergdorf_spring_sale week, Bergdorf Goodman advertised up to 40% off on its contemporary floor and Yves Saint Laurent sent an
e-mail invitation to customers to receive an “exclusive one-time
discount” at any boutique in the U.S. and 50% off ready-to-wear
and 30% off accessories today and Wednesday (you know where to find me!).

In NYC, sample
sales are on the rise, too, with stores pushing back goods to vendors.
And some retailers are utilizing sales tactics usually reserved for
holidays and pre-Christmas. So-called “private” friends and family sales have taken a high profile.
Saks Fifth Avenue staged one last week.

Nordstrom promoted a friends and
family sale of its own, and this week, it’s Bloomingdale’s turn,
offering 20% off almost all regular- and sale-priced purchases
in apparel and home.

and retailers expect clearances to surface before Mother’s Day, with
storesSpring_sales currently grappling with spring orders written last year —
before consumers really clamped down on spending — and trying to
whittle inventories down in line with demand. “Historically, I would
not have considered markdowns before the beginning of June,” said Diane
Levbarg, executive vice president of Missoni. “However, this year,
while it’s still too early, I may reevaluate my strategy based on
market conditions.”

However, retailers and analysts
WWD contacted Monday said discounting hasn’t reached clearance
proportions yet, and that when the clearances do break, they shouldn’t
be anywhere as epic as the fall’s avalanche of price cuts.

Read more "A New Approach: Spring Markdowns Sprout Early" here.

Source & Photos: WWD

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