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Can fashion retailers work the weather odds?

The weather is finally improving - but it’s hardly getting more predictable. So how can retailers plan around it?

The weather is starting to pick up but if the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that us Brits are justified in our obsession about the climate.

From smaller indies to established large high street names very few businesses have been unaffected by the dreary days. This has meant better sell through of autumn 12 pieces - but is leaving retailers holding onto to stock that will soon be superceded by autumn 13.

With autumn fast approaching retailers need to ensure they aren’t left with a stack of old stock - but that doesn’t mean going on Sale.

Some retailers are focusing on highlighting their transitional pieces, such as lightweight jackets and cardigans, which have proved popular with shoppers who are as confused about the weather as retailers are.

Making your shop look suitable for the elements is also key. One indie said changing the window displays to reflect the weather had done wonders for sales. Putting parkas in the windows around Easter may not be the norm but it certainly paid off for him.

This is the same tactic as supermarket Asda, which has launched a weather-responsive digital ad campaign for its George clothing range. The creative for the campaign’s digital banners responds immediately to changes in the weather – with summer essentials featured if the temperature increases, and long sleeves, waterproofs and wellies starring if the weather turns cold and wet.

Most businesses may not have the resources to invest in this, but consciously adapting what they are selling by changing window displays and in store merchandising will have the same effect.

Consumers may not have picked up their summer staples as yet, and with summer holidays on the horizon pent up demand could well result in summer essentials flying out of the stores.

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