Footwear retailers are calling for a change in the selling seasons to better reflect British weather, after the recent cold snap hit sales of spring 13 stock.
According to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, like-for-like footwear sales fell 25.25% in the week to March 17, compared with the same week last year.
Retailers across the UK told Drapers how sales had been hampered by the weather, which has already caused the likes of Debenhams to report muted sales across the business.
Olivier Lievre, owner of premium footwear indie Olivier’s Lounge in Wandsworth, southwest London, said: “The last two weeks have been some of the worst I’ve known since opening the shop. No one is buying anything because it’s just too cold.”
Ian Paver, buying director of indie footwear chain Pavers, said: “When we get bad weather it impacts not only sales but also margin, as we have to sell more Sale stock instead of new product.”
A recent Drapers Brand Market Report of more than 100 brands showed just 30% believed the two-season model was still relevant.
Neil Steptoe, head footwear buyer at etailer Zalando, said: “The UK could do with a change. We should all sell spring/summer from April to September and autumn/winter from October to March.
“If the seasons were bought like that then there would be a lot less clearance on the UK high street and online.”
Tony Evans, managing director of footwear brand house Jacobson Group, added: “There needs to be a shift but even if things did move, it is the in-between months like March and October that still might prove tricky.”
A footwear buyer from one multiple added: “The weather is so unpredictable it is hard to know what to do for the best.”
- Drapers’ Brand Market Report will be published in next week