A few weeks ago, we noted that one of the primary reasons for weak US luxury profits was a glut of handbag inventory at stores like Nordstrom’s and Barney’s (Read: Department Stores are Damaging Handbag Sales). With an overall decline in sales, high-end retailers have been forced to discount their existing inventory, which has the indirect effect of further reducing sales at official flagship stores.
In response to this challenge, Bloomberg is reporting that department stores are severely curtailing their product lines for the upcoming winter season.
According to Edited, a data-analytics firm covering the fashion industry, the number of new handbags introduced by Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s fell 23% and 3% respectively, compared with an increase of 5% and 11% the year before. Barney’s is taking the trend to the extreme, introducing a staggering 41% fewer lines in the 3rd quarter, compared to an increase of 46% last year.
So what should you expect to see over the holiday season? Much less of a selection, and probably, the end of big discounts. Have you been to a department store recently and checked out the handbag section? Are the sales still running? Is inventory lower than you expected? Let us know on BopTalk!
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