The two trends of the winter sales this year will be very marked: large stocks and considerable discounts in the early days, according to the various associations and federations of businesses. The mild weather this fall has resulted in an increase of 7% in stocks of clothes on shelves compared to last year’s, reported the Neutral Union of Independents (SNI). The sales will begin this Thursday, January 3 to end on January 31.
Inventories are larger this year for several reasons: the very mild weather, online sales and multiplication discounts from large chains (Black Friday, for instance), joint bids during the month of December or the disturbances created by union strikes, Gilets Jaunes, etc.
“This particularly affected Brussels, where sales fell by 25% on average during the action days,” said the federation of trade and services Comeos.
If more than half of shops (55%) found a decrease in turnover in the last six months compared to last year, the decline is estimated at more than 10 %, according to a representative sample of the Union of the Middle Classes (UCM) in Wallonia and Brussels. Four out of ten will offer rebates of 40 or even 50%.
In the same vein, Comeos reports that there are still many good deals to be made. Due to the particularly mild autumn weather, winter clothing has not sold well. Accessories, makeup, underwear and pajamas, on the other hand, were more popular.
“The outlook for the next few days is positive. Shops start sales with great discounts of -30% and -50%. According to the survey, there are still a lot of unsold goods, especially in the ladies and winter collection and shoes,” reported Comeos.
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Nearly half (45%) of clothing and footwear stores think they will make better figures than last year, says the SNI according to a survey of 556 retailers in this sector.
The pre-pay period began on December 3rd. Price reductions are not allowed, but more and more retailers participate, like large chains, in alternative systems: 38% of fashion traders offer joint sales, compared to 21% who organize private sales, according to the SNI.
The months of January and July are the only months of the year when the sale at a loss is allowed.