Young fashion independents and multiples have painted a mixed picture of trading but those reporting strong sales admitted they were up against seriously weak comparisons from last year when the summer floods began.
Most of the high street players are believed to be gearing up to start their summer Sales within the next fortnight, but they are still unable to decipher a clear picture about underlying trading because of unseasonal weather patterns and a shift in key calendar dates including Easter this year.
Most retailers told Drapers they had experienced a difficult April but a strong May. However, June has got off to a difficult start, which has brought forward some Sale dates.
Young fashion giant Topshop is expected to hoist its Sale banners on July 4 , with much of the Arcadia Group going on Sale in the week beginning June 30.
Young fashion chain New Look will go on Sale at the start of July, but this is believed to be in line with last year.
June 2007 was one of the wettest months on record in the UK and serious floods hammered retailers’ sales up and down the country.
The boss of one large young fashion multiple said: “Trading better from this time last year shouldn’t be too difficult. However, the true trend in the market is quite weak.”
Another young fashion boss said: “One minute we’re off the clock, the next minute we are down the drain.”
The owner of one young fashion indie said that although last week was strong, this week had been tough. “When the multiples go on Sale it is going to be a nightmare. There is so little spend out there so you need to drive as much full-price merchandise as possible.”
Another young fashion indie added: “Things haven’t been great and we’ve got a small mid-season Sale on at the moment to start clearing the worst of the things. We’ll probably go into our full Sale on about June 30.”