Concerns about purchasing power and a structural lack of interest hampered summer sales in 2021, note professionals at First Assessment on Monday, July 18, 2022, with some calling for reform while others still relate to this moment of consumption.
‘Because there are discounts throughout the year, we wait less for sales:’ Like Melanie, 32, a social media manager at a bank, who nonetheless pushed the doors of some stores before leaving for the holidays, customers seem to be tired of sales.
This period is, of course, still a high point of consumption in France: “Sale periods bring in higher sales than non-sales periods,” Sophie Brinot, president of the Leather Goods Retailers Association, explains to AFP. But it loses interest year after year in the eyes of buyers.
Ile-de-France, Melanie “hates shopping” and only goes there “when she has a specific goal, and she needs a dress for example”. Even if after searching for Promod, H&M, or Pull & Bear, she “bought everything but the dress”. The only requirement, she explains, is that the clothes “sell really well.”
‘Very bad start’
The search for bargains is even more important this year as the topic of purchasing power has become a primary concern for the French, in a context of inflation not seen in more than 30 years.
“We can wonder if there will be an unexpected effect with the search for lower prices, but this has not happened,” notes Gildas Menville, director of the Economic Observatory of the French Institute of Fashion (IFM).
He continues, “There have been no good surprises, when you have a non-dynamic market, sales are no exception.” IFM interviewed professionals in the first 15 days of the sales period, which generally gives “the”, and the results were an average sales decline of 4.5% over the previous year.
For its part, the Trade Alliance, which brings together professionals from supermarkets, clothing and shoes, which alerted in early July to a “very poor start” to sales, through a committee of forty brands representing the clothing market that it achieved with Retail Int, noted “a slight improvement.” In sales during the third week of sales.
Compared to the pre-Covid period, in 2019, its general manager Johann Petio told AFP about a 13% drop in sales. “The situation has improved a little bit but is still very disappointing,” he explains, with a sharp drop in attendance in stores.
But the resumption of air traffic and tourism has made some people happy: supermarkets “have regained a better dynamic with the resumption of travel,” Gildas Menfeli notes.
and the luggage sector, “which has really exploded in compensation for the Covid years,” notes Sophie Brinot. “We even sell luggage that is not for sale because people want to equip themselves.”
Sales at seaside resorts and coastal areas are still very dynamic, according to players interviewed.
If you find the poor performance of this period partially explained by the “purchasing power difficulties” of some French, with a sector “very fragile and very affected by changes in the economic environment” according to Gildas Menviel, some believe sales are now largely outdated.
In June, National Apparel Federation (FNH) Treasurer Stephane Rodier called for “global thinking” to bring out “viable solutions that don’t make us consume for the sake of consumption”, and judge the sales model “not at all environmental.”
A view that not everyone shares. Sophie Breno, of the Association of Leather Goods Retailers believes.