“There will be good deals to be had from the start of the sales” this Wednesday, assures AFP Yohann Petiot, general manager of the Alliance du commerce (clothing, shoe and downtown businesses).
However, “it is difficult to know how customers will react” and to anticipate the frequentation of shops in the coming days, according to Mr. Petiot, in particular because of the context of inflation unprecedented for 30 years.
Inflation is seen as “a risky time” for the fashion and apparel sector, he adds. “When customers have to arbitrate on their consumption, it is often unfavorable to the sector”.
The sales, however, remain compatible with “the search for the right price, notes Mr. Petiot, which, (he) hopes, will restore purchasing power to customers”.
Traders also hope to replenish their cash, while in-store sales are still down “-7%” cumulatively, since the start of 2022 compared to 2019, according to the Trade Alliance, despite “a embellished fragile” in May.
After this small rebound in sales in May, the beginning of June “was down again”, notes the Trade Alliance.
Added to this is the increase in production, operating or transport costs, which has affected the entire sector. Sellers must “be able to preserve their margins, assume the increase in costs”, explains Yohann Petiot. Reimbursement of State Guaranteed Loans also started in April.
Household morale, which plays into the desire to consume, has been hard hit since the start of the year, which began with the Omicron variant, Gildas Minvielle, director of the economic observatory of Paris, reminded AFP on Monday. the French Fashion Institute (IFM).
Added to this was the conflict in Ukraine and the rise in inflation in many expenditure items, energy, transport and then food.
Consumers’ environmental concerns can also have a negative impact on store traffic, while the second-hand market has become widely democratized.
On the stock market, the heavyweights of “fast fashion”, such as Boohoo, Asos, Zalando, or even the Spanish giant Inditex, despite the latter’s insolent financial results, have been looking gray since the beginning of the year.