SUMMER sales have not been the hoped-for success for prêt-à-porter and designer shops.
Sales for the government-prescribed five-week period were down between 2 - 4% on last year’s totals with supermarkets and hypermarkets seeing a 10% drop, although big department stores reported stable sales or marginally up on last year.
Much of the revenue drop is due to the spectacularly high discounts on offer to pull in customers: -50% was common and some shops were selling at -90% in the final days of the sales period. However, the number of items sold was also down on last year.
Retail analysts say the fall in sales is due to increased use of floating sales – where shops can have a sale for two weeks outside the official Soldes.
Shoppers are no longer sure of getting the cheapest price at the official soldes so they have lost some of their attraction. Internet sites specialising in déstockages have also hit shop sales.
Photo: helmer wieringa