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Buyers at morale at half mast and who favor useful shopping over pleasure purchases. This is the observation of traders who have experienced gloomy winter sales. Stéphanie Verrimst, general delegate of the Union du commerce du Pays de Rennes, confirms that “the sales were not there this year”. Arrived “late”, ” extended at the last minute », They suffered from the closure of shopping centers of more than 20,000 m² a few days after their launch. It “broke the dynamic”.

This year, the sales have been postponed to Wednesday, January 20, a bad idea. Consumers had no more money to spend

“Consequence of restrictive measures”

The most affected are ready-to-wear merchants. “Over the month of February and taking into account all the stores included in our panel, we are at -22% of sales”, explains Yohann Petiot, general manager of the Alliance du commerce (clothing stores, shoes and city center).

This number takes into account stores that have had to close in shopping malls in February. It is all the more spectacular since it compares a period of sales to a period without promotions, since, in 2020, the sales took place mainly in January. For Yohann Petiot, it is the consequence of “all the restrictive measures” which disrupted the period.

“Traditionally, sales started at the end of the first week of January. This year, they have been postponed to Wednesday, January 20, a bad idea. The fifteen days lost have not been made up. Consumers had no more money to spend ”, laments Hélène Perennou-Niger, co-president of the Union of traders in Concarneau.

Regional disparities

Some are doing better: those who have been able to pass between the drops of administrative closures are already benefiting from a “postponement of consumption of closed stores”, observes Yohann Petiot. Still on the basis of a panel of around forty brands, representative of the clothing market, co-produced with Retail Int, he observes that those which were open in February saw their sales increase by 28%. These stores were also able to benefit from a shift in sales. In addition, certain geographical areas are better off, in the Parisian suburbs or in Normandy for example, as well as certain categories of goods: the household sector (gardening, furniture, etc.) would fare better.

For Rémy Langlois, vice-president of the CCI of the Pays de Rennes, “ready-to-wear will have to review its economic model”, with a physical point of sale which “loses its attractiveness”. The situation has encouraged the digital transition, but “poses cash flow problems for businesses that have not been able to liquidate their stock and are already seeing new collections arriving when they have little money in the cash registers”. This disparate situation also complicates the marking of aid. Yohann Petiot, from the Alliance du Commerce, asks for appropriate support measures for those who are closed today, because “not everyone lived the same month of February”.

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