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Poor weather forces retailers to launch Sales

Retailers are discounting more frequently and offering deeper discounts in the summer Sales because of recent poor trading.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of stores on the high street were on Sale or advertising promotions last week, according to research from professional services firm PwC.

This was up from 70% of stores on sale or advertising promotions at this time last year and up from 40% for the same week three years ago.

The figures showed that the level of discount has also deepened, with the average price cuts at 47%, up from 45% last eyar. Some high street stores have already moved their discounts to between 50% and 70%, which are usually reserved for much later on in the Sale period.

“Retailers have been hit by the poor weather and the subdued economic back drop,” said Christine Cross, chief retailer and consumer adviser to PwC.

Cross added that there was also evidence that summer Sales are being contracted into a shorter time window because of the Olympics with some retailers, particularly London department stores, trying to clear old season stock before the Games when many tourists will be visiting the capital.

“Retailers making a lot of their living out of London, the department-store chains in particular, are keen to look good for the Olympics,” she added.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Retailers using the same old excuses and now throwing the Olympics into the mix. They never seem to blame themselves for poor trading. Funny that.

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  • Thierry BAYLE

    Great to hear that retailers are taking action,
    but the real question is, did they start early enough?

    Is it too late? Wth our Open to Buy Plan, we provide a sales forecast that is 90% accurate, so that we can react immediately when things go wrong. The weather was poor in April and actual sales must have been well below the forecast. Did you take action in April? Did you take action in May? Every week that goes by while you wait for things to pick up is a missed opportunity to turn the situation around. If you react more quickly, you can discount less at the end of the season. When we work with clients using our Open to Buy plan, our goal is to keep the discount to a maximum of 10-15%. For monobrand shops, that percentage will be slightly higher.

    I know that many retailers don't want to advertise promotions early but I can promise you that there are MANY ways to "discount" without putting a banner in the window. Be creative!


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