Depending on the type of brand you represent, July 4th, commonly referred to as Independence Day can either be a huge boost or completely irrelevant. To the best majority of retail oriented fashion brands, it’s the latter. Some however still try to find relevant with their look at me blue, red and white dress or small businesses are patriots too colorblocked items. But for every tri colored America’s sweetheart pendant that is sold, there is an equally compelling reason not to discount on Independence Day.
Shopping on the 4th
From a very high level standpoint, it would seem the 4th of July and the week prior is a huge commercial holiday, overshadowing President’s Day and even Memorial Day. However, at a deeper glance spending on apparel and beauty products is far lower, hardly reaching the top fifteen of commercial holidays in the US ( according to the National Retail Federation ) and a little more than one-hundredth the volume of the holiday season. Even further, over 90% of spending will be driven by food and novelty items and travel, leaving a smaller pot for apparel, particularly from brands that lack visibility. While people are shopping on the 4th, it’s more likely your customer is buying gluten free hot dog buns than designer denim.
Your customers and audience can smell deception from a mile away and if you’ve never so much as touched cobalt blue or cerulean in your last four resort collections, putting out a capsule line just in time for the vegan patties and smokestacks is just desperate. Consumers aren’t keen on brands that are just fishing for every dollar and cent, rather than providing a greater added value to their social experience. While just about everyone loves to acquire patriotic apparel, regardless of their country of origin or culture, if your brand isn’t known for color blocked bandeaus, there are much better times to start.
Consumer Focus or Lack Thereof
Unless you are also selling skirts for a grill or accessories tailor made for a chic tabletop or pool party, consumers probably aren’t searching for a new dress to wear to Uncle Sam’s family barbecue. That’s not to say that a capsule collection of Americana themed rompers and blazers won’t sell out at Target, but those items are more likely to be acquired with a bag of charcoal than without it.
Discounting, Discounting and More Discounting
As a designer or a brand, there’s always a bottom line and inevitably, no matter how small, every sale contributes to it. However there is also a matter of perceived value and a customer baseline. Every time a product goes on sale, there’s a subconscious assessment of why the product is on sale: Is the quality inferior? Is this design dated / out of trend? Is the brand struggling? Essentially by lowering the price point, customers adjust to a new perceived value and realign the brand quality accordingly. Marking down a set of summer separates from $349 to $299 for special sales is one thing. But the customer will wait for the next Veterans Day or Memorial Day ( other typically unrelated holidays for most fashion brands ) for a bigger 50% discount once they’ve grown accustomed to it.
Featured Image: Ms Maverick Muse