The sales start this Wednesday in the midst of galloping inflation – Economy

It is “difficult to know exactly” how consumers will present themselves during the summer sales which will take place until July 19, summarizes the director of the economic observatory of the French Fashion Institute (IFM), Gildas Minvielle.

In addition to inflation, which accelerated in May to 5.2% on one and affects many expenditure items (energy, transport, food), Mr. Minvielle underlines that the morale of households – which plays into their desire to consume – has also been hard hit since the beginning of the year, particularly by the Omicron variant.

Delivery delays

As for traders, the situation is complicated by multiple factors: Stéphane Rodier, owner of three high-end ready-to-wear shops in Granville (50), Saint-Malo (35) and Avranches (50), says he has suffered “deliveries canceled for a month, sometimes two” due to supply chains modified by covid-19, the war in Ukraine or even the congestion of Chinese ports. In fact, he has plenty of stock to sell… but finds it “surprising to sell summer products on sale, when they have to be sold at full capacity”, the day after the start of summer. “We certainly need cash”, which is filled thanks to the increased activity during the sales, “but also margins, while the repayment of loans guaranteed by the State (PGE) began in April”.

Balances to rethink?

Stéphane Rodier, also treasurer of the National Clothing Federation (FNH), believes that the very principle of the sales must be rethought. “Producing in large volumes that we then have to sell off to get rid of them is not at all ecological”, he regrets, calling for “global reflection” to bring out “viable solutions that let us not be consumed for the sake of consumption”.

The FNH, in a press release, thus asked to “take the example of Germany, where there are no more regulated sales periods since 2004, and to leave it to traders to organize their weeks of sales, including the duration remained strictly prohibited, depending on the dynamics of their territories and their economic situation”.

Francis Palombi, president of the Confederation of Traders of France, which represents the independents, also opposes the date of June 22, too early, and proposes “July 6 at the earliest” in a recent letter to the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire.

“The large distribution groups, the large brands do not have the same economic model with large sales coefficients. As a result, they are always asking for advanced sales dates”, while “our merchants will lose money”, deplores Mr. Palombi.

Less inventory and second hand…

There is also the question of stocks, which the sales period must allow to be sold. A specialist in the field, the boss of the Veepee site Jacques-Antoine Granjon said on Wednesday that he had “fewer stocks available to him than in previous years”, the brands having for some “restored that of previous years”.

Beyond clothing, the replica of purchases during sales could also affect high-tech or furniture products. “We have never seen a period when purchasing power drops, when sales of discretionary goods (non-essential, editor’s note) do not drop,” explains Clément Genelot, financial analyst specializing in the distribution sector at Bryan, Garnier & Co.

Without forgetting a final factor of uncertainty: the environmental concerns of consumers, who are massively turning to second-hand items.

Leave a Comment