Retailers — one of the main reasons this whole fashion show thing is happening in the first place — are looking to pull off a neat trick for spring: Generating single-digit sales gains off of flat inventories.

“We have been feeling very positive about our ability to drive a significantly improved full-price business and improved margins with very tight inventories. Our approach for next spring will be along that line,” said Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer of Saks Fifth Avenue. “We are a little more optimistic with our sales plan, but we are still going to be close to the vest with inventory and expenses. We are not out of this yet. There’s still a lot of instability in the stock market, and we are still in a state of ‘you just don’t know.’ Less formal and more relaxed clothes are really key.”

Asked if he sees designers dropping prices, Frasch said, “No, I don’t anticipate that. With the pre-collections and men’s business we have not seen any perceptible downward movement.”

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