Marks & Spencer was accused by some of having stock issues when it launched a 50% off mid-season Sale this week but the retailer insisted it took the same decision as every year - to go on Sale two weeks ahead of the Easter holiday regardless of the calendar. "The 50% off" stickers were also standard for this time of year, so said the M&S press office.
Elsewhere Debenhams and House of Fraser have both held spring megaday events for customers but these were short hit small discount events with 25% off selected items.
The chill in the air outside plus the drizzle and gales ahead cannot be helping to shift spring stock in this already difficult trading climate but discounting feels a little premature given there hasn't been the weather to drive full price spring merchandise yet this season.
High street retailers contacted by Drapers this week were blowing hot and cold about when to launch Sale and what type of promotion to run. The fact that some schools' half term holidays also fall after the Easter weekend is adding to the promotional conundrum. Sure, it could mean "two bites of the cherry" but it could also mean diluted sales all round.
What happens in April when all the key promotional ca lender dates are gone, will be crucial. Fashion retailers will be desperate for a sustained period of hot weather like we experienced last year. Without it this spring could be yet another wash out.
What are you doing to drive sales over Easter? Have you made plans to help drive footfall in April?