How the economy is affecting retailers and consumers
I wrote a column last Sunday about how the economy is changing shopping habits and what we can expect from retailers.
Here’s more from Tom Julian, noted trend expert and president of Tom Julian Group, a brand consultancy company based in New York City.
*Lay-away is making a come-back.
* Retailers are already strategizing the right approach for Holiday 2009 in the hopes of motivating the buyer.
* The deal, the incentive, the promotion are all an important part of the retail equation.
* Select luxury labels (those known for not discounting) will continue to produce and provide coveted products that demand a higher price.
* The global specialty retailers (from Zara to H&M to Uniqlo) will continue to influence the U.S. shopping landscape with distinct fashion product at a price.
* Products made in Italy will continue to be distinct, designer and provide special items. However, Italian brands that produce in China may have problems maintaining a high price point for products that appear inferior.
* Young designers will have to be more cautious on their pricing strategies. As a result, the $200 T-shirt, the $400 jean, the $1,000 jacket will be in less demand during the remaining months of 2009.
* Regular priced merchandise needs to be romanced, incentivized and individualized with as many bells and whistles at the retail floor.
* Signature store credit cards will continue to fill the need for “insider” deals and opportunities.
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