Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sales Forecasting Spring 2009, Part 1

Madison Avenue stores are pumping the air-conditioning but the heat is still on to move merchandise. So how are sales going to fall out this season? Will stores go straight to 75% off or have luxury vendors flexed their muscles enough to keep prices in check?

Sure, we have our own opinions but first we thought we would extend the question to our peers. Here's what they had so say:

Lauren Dimet Waters
Second City Style
I think we are going to see some amazing sales again this spring. Will it be like Christmas? No. But it will be close. Many stores are already offering 40% off spring merch which usually goes on sale Memorial Day ... a clear sign stores are hurting. I think by Memorial Day we will see giant clearances.

While I think many stores (especially department stores) did a better job of controlling merchandise, I still think they are going to find themselves with a lot of inventory. Who are really going to be hurt? The high-end luxury retailers, the free standing stores like YSL and Micheal Kors.

Women are still going to want some new stuff, but they are going to wait for killer prices before they shop.

Tina Craig
Bag Snob
Sales are definitely earlier this year. In fact, this weekend I was asked to a private pre-shop event for spring 55% off at Neiman Marcus.

Cheryl Maday
Cheryl Shops
I don't think the sales will be as quick and as steeply discounted as fall, since the retailers have had a few months to tailor their buys and their stock levels to the current economic climate--the retailers are much better prepared this season.

That said, no one is shopping at the moment, except during Friends & Family and other such events that the stores have been using to test the waters. (And I don't blame them--once you've shopped at 80% off, it's hard to go back to full price.) I have a feeling we'll be seeing events like this for another few weeks, and once Mother's Day comes and goes, the stores will go to 40% off. It's just a matter of who marks down first; since they have nothing to lose (i.e. their vendors are already ticked off because of last fall). My money is on Saks.


Anonymous said...

For sure waiting for sales! I'm dying for the Prada tote with the strange ikot like print but refuse to pay $2,000 for it since it's a total one season bag.

Bergdorfs seems to still be very well stocked and I think we are going to see a bigger sale sooner. I still don't expect to be seeing 80% off but a 40% starting looks possible.

Saks you never know with, they have been running small sales and always have a sale rack but I have been told that most of the stock it out.

Prada is always dead so I'm expecting big mark downs from them and a good selection. I have been to all the stores recently during peek times and no one is there. Service in the 5th ave store was even more inferior than usual. 57th service is always amazing as is Madison. I was snubbed by a guy in the Soho store and finally I found someone else who then seemed to be insulted that I asked to try a pair of shoes on.

Gucci sale is always worth checking out because you never know when something from the classic line with go 40% off.

Last time I was in Barneys it was pretty dead too.

Chanel did not up prices this season so I'm not expecting much from them.

Scoop all over the city is dead and that is probably because there is nothing worth buying in the stores. Their days have to be numbered.

Anonymous said...

Well Saks have already sent out their "Shhh 2 day big spring sale" coming up, which is giving us hopes of that Saks crazy pre Xmas sale they had - any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

i dont think so.. if they did that again they would probably risk having shareholder tell the board that apoison pill from carlos slim is a viable option.
i think the shoppers here need to realize that the stores have wisened up and know clients mentality has changed..they wait for sale now.. to counter that they have better control of their inventory.. expect less sales going forward and less items at the store. gone are the days of 50 pairs of loubs in a size 7 at saks..now they order 10. if a customer really wants it then too bad they learn to buy it when its there full price

abby said...

I was in Saks tonight. The shoe floor was empty and I was trying on a pair of CL sandals. After I tried them on, I asked if the sale was starting soon (hoping I could come back for a price adjustment) and she told me definitely not. But they were just seasonal shoes, not classics, so I would think they're going to go on sale soon. I think she was just giving me a hard time :(