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The battle of the Christmas promotion

‘Tis the season to promote your wears ahead of Christmas, but how do retailers decide when, how and what to offer their customers as an extra incentive to spend with them?

Gap, New Look, Coast and Whistles are amongst those emailing “secret Sale” vouchers, Dorothy Perkins has advertised a special 20% off weekend, QS is offering buy two get two free, and poor old Debenhams has got its usual kicking for holding its three-day Mega Day (the department store insists this has come a week later than last year and is not its earliest ever as some analysts are suggesting).

What’s interesting is that all these promos are timed to run a week ahead of pay day - surely not the best way to maximise sales? Spending on credit is apparently rife this Christmas though and Debs is undoubtedly attempting to manage margin damage in a traditionally softer trading week.
House of Fraser on the other hand, is holding off its discount day until next week - a week which should prove to be a key indicator of how Christmas will pan out for a lot of stores. I look forward to hearing the usual trading chatter over the next fortnight.

Meanwhile spring is shaping up to be an interesting season for men on the fashion front. Several menswear chains have backed tailored shorts in a significant way, but a question mark remains over how commercial this look actually is.

Topman had a selection of shorts at its press day last week from a rather racy green 1980's running style to white knee length tailored pieces. Even Debenhams was backing the look although it had cleverly and commercially interpreted the look by simply stripping the pockets of a more acceptable casual cargo style. Still, we’ll be needing a better summer than this year to keep spring shorts off the Sale rails.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Dear god, not a return to tailored shorts - I thought we had managed to escape that decade! I might have to stay indoors next summer!

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