New York Fashion Week came to an end last week and if you were like any of us here you said “Damn, I need some new clothes”. Well lucky enough for us, Washington, Jefferson and company gave us plenty of reasons to celebrate this weekend and we all know “holiday” = “sale”. But being a smart consumer (as we all know you are), how do you know when is a good time to buy?
Knowing that the promotional calendar for retailers is cyclical, it is often a measure of how deep the discount will be rather than the occurrence itself. As a result, shoppers are usually asking, “Is this sale going to be bigger and better than the next?” Using my amateur researcher skills, I quickly polled the office and only two of us ladies bought something during a President’s Day Sale. Not to discredit Elizabeth’s Mango find and my Anthropologie buy, but was 2017’s President’s Day a lackluster time for retail?
Looking across the market, there certainly wasn’t a lack of participation. Asos offered 20% off sitewide, H&M priced products up to 70%, and Anthropologie suckered me in at an extra 40% off sale. Across the industry it was the opportune time to offer deeper discounts on already marked down goods and clear out the winter glut.
Take for instance the pricing cadence across top retailers. The average discount across all products was 21%. Of all of these products, only 9% were marked down within the past 7 days - encompassing all of the President’s Day holiday. On the other end, only 5% of these products sold out in the past seven days. What could this mean in terms of promotional patterns? It appears that retailers used this point on the shopping calendar to move through inventory and not necessarily introduce newer or juicier deals into the market. For the consumer, like my coworkers, it appears many said “pass”.
The next Holiday that we can count on a sale for is St. Patrick’s Day. So, this might be a better time to get lucky for consumers and retailers alike (Sorry I had to ;)).