- Nov 27, 2008
- Reaction score
What do you think, was FW08 a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for buyers, or will we see the likes of it again? Is it even over as we speak? For a recession that will ostensibly put luxury items beyond the grasp of many, there are a lot more people wearing Truzzi shirts and Incotex pants right now.For Spring Clothes, a Lost Season? Bangles and handbags on slabs of marble and glass are going largely untouched, like artifacts in museums. [...] And why not? The spring collections are being sold at full price: $800 jeans, $1,500 blazers, $10,000 necklaces. If consumers learned anything during the Christmas shopping season, it was that if they sit on their wallets long enough, they could eventually snap up elite brands for fire-sale prices. The mistletoe and tinsel are long gone, but consumers have yet to break the habit. And in the retailing game of chicken, the odds are in their favor. February retail sales at Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstrom were some of the worst in the industry. Barneys New York, which does not publicly report monthly sales, is seriously ailing. Moreover, high-end stores order their spring merchandise months before the season arrives. So while they were able to cancel or return some orders as the economy plunged into recession last year, their inventory is not yet in line with weakened shopper demand. “What’s flowing into stores this spring and summer reflects expectations from nine months ago, which were not low enough,” said Ms. Widlitz, who works for Pali Research in New York. That means more discounts are on the way, though they will not be as stunning as those at Christmastime. “That’s not going to happen again in our lifetime,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD Group, a retailing consultancy. That is partly because luxury chains have managed to trim at least some of their inventory. It’s also because fashion companies were incensed during the holidays when their prestige labels were being sold at bargain-basement prices that competed with their own stores. Some designers said they are still smarting and deciding whether they will continue supplying certain chains.