Every year, end-of-season sales are the big rendez-vous for fashion brands. It is the time to clean up old stock, slow turnover items, and low size availability items. 2020 was a year of disruption, with stores reopening after months of lockdown and stock piling up in warehouses, which affected the summer sales. Was this year any different? Did fashion retailers get back to their 2019 levels — despite disruptions in supply chains and logistics?
Summer sales 2021 vs 2020
- Fewer discounted articles (-4% of assortment) during summer sales 2021 vs. 2020
- Does a lower discount rate (-2%) in 2021 mean fewer good deals for consumers?
- 47% increase in new arrivals volume during Summer 2021 — but Swedish giant H&M did not follow this trend.
Fewer discounted articles in Europe — but not for Mango?
The share of discounted articles in 2020 was getting close to 50% of the assortment for almost all retailers. Mango already stood out in 2020 by marking down the majority of its product line during summer sales.
Fashion leaders H&M and Zara lowered their share of discounted articles to less than 35%. This could be thanks to better assortments and offerings. During the year, thanks to Retviews data, we observed that H&M was staying on the safer side — probably due to its wide variety of offerings — and offered more versatile, seasonless garments. Does H&M’s new strategy lead it to avoid discounting too much of its product line?
On the other hand, Mango and Uniqlo increased their shares of discounted articles between 2020 and 2021 summer sales. Was this in an attempt to offer greater deals to their customers and boost sales?
Summer sales with lower discounts in 2021
Fashion retailers in Europe discounted fewer articles during Summer Sales 2021 than 2020, and at a lower discount rate. This performance demonstrates that fashion brands did not need to rely on the markdown period as much as last year.
One question arises regarding Mango’s strategy: Why did the fashion brand discount more, and have a higher average discount this year?
More new arrivals for summer 2021 than last year
During summer sales, retailers tend to lower their levels of new arrivals, which might be overshadowed by the enormous volume of markdown articles.
2021 saw an increase by 37% of the number of new arrivals on the European market, led by the number-one fashion retailer Zara.
Zara’s main competitor, H&M — and domestic-market rival Mango — did the opposite compared with the market trend. Once again, this raises questions about Mango’s pricing and cost strategy.
Summer sales with fewer discounts — will it be the same this winter?
The Summer Sales 2021 saw that most retailers decided to discount fewer articles, with a lower average discount. It shows that the industry is getting better, and that fashion brands are also investing more in sustainable, cost-effective strategies.
With the current market disruption, will it be the same this winter?