Clerks at Filene's Department Store's Bargain Basement preparing to admit customers for a sale on men's suits and topcoats. --Boston, MA 1949
Retailers and vendors are responding quickly in anticipation of the consumers tighter spending habits and are dropping initial retail prices by up to 30%. We should start to see the adjustment for next Fall. Spring/Summer selling remains to be seen– will people spend a little to pull themselves out of the slump and brighten up their wardrobes? Or will it continue to be about holding out for markdowns, and last year’s closet rehash?
In a candid conversation with an executive at arguably one of the nation’s best specialty retailers, the current state of apparel sales was reported as such–
Womenswear = tough.
Menswear = worse.
Men’s tailored clothing (suits in particular) = abysmal.
Answer = a wide-sweeping retail price correction is much needed in order to start the process of regaining consumer confidence.
There are a lot of us caught in the grips of the ever-worsening recession global depression– those of us in apparel and retail are definitely feeling it hard. I’m holding out hope that come April the economy will start to “Spring” back with new optimism. But now I’m hearing of more imminent lay-offs and cutbacks coming down the pipeline. It might have you feeling imprisoned in a way you’ve never felt before.
A good friend shared a story with me yesterday– his brother was giving a talk and the economy came up (2.8 trillion dollar deficit, btw). In the audience was a guy formerly of the Securities and Exchange Commission. When asked where he would put his money, his answer was “Gold and a shotgun.” Nice.
But there is something you can do if you find yourself laid-off and seemingly without prospects. In a market where luxury is currently a dirty word, we do have the luxury of time, energy, experience and relationships. Us little guys can turn on a dime, and create new models and paradigms faster than the large corporations that are currently focusing on how to stop the bleeding. New thinking, energy, excitement and products will go a long way towards dragging us out of this, and then hopefully the banks will start to follow in time. The economic turnaround will only start by us pulling ourselves out of our mental rut first.
Because my mind works in strange ways, this all got me thinking about economic life in an actual prison. It’s important that we keep our circumstances in perspective– it can always be worse…