Gone are the days when sales were generated only twice a year with the two most defined and traditional retail seasons of Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. With increasing consumerism, shoppers now hunt around the year for new collections to dress up exclusively for special occasions, festivals, and holidays. Observing this now well-established shopping behaviour, seen in all major markets around the world, FASHION FORWARD TRENDS, a trend forecasting service that expertise in giving customized forecasting inputs according to the specific needs of their clients, shares with Apparel Online readers their researched compilation of 22 retail seasons spread throughout the year, forming a new retail calendar that every exporter should aim at, as all retailers big, small and local are adopting these seasons for presenting new collections at a rapid pace…
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Resolution Shopping Season
With every year starting with a fresh set of New Year resolutions made by shoppers world over, and retailers promoting items geared towards these resolutions related to well-being, personal organization, de-cluttering homes and wardrobes, the ‘Resolution’ shopping season is the first retail season of the year. This season brings with it a fresh pair of merchandise targeted towards the group shopping for new clothes to kick start their new year, and also those looking at thrift shopping and second-hand merchandise.
Retailers on the chart: Mostly department stores like Target and Walmart. [/tab]
[tab title=”JANUARY – FEBRUARY”]
Health and Wellness Season
In sync with the season changes when the human body becomes prone to various infections and also to prepare for the upcoming National Week of Health and Wellness from March 19 to 25, celebrated as a national initiative in the US, the season of health and wellness, encourages healthy food, beverages, fitness equipments and thus a lot of fitness apparel including sports active wear and yoga wear is present throughout the markets during these month, along with accessories that include headbands, wristbands, socks, etc.
Retailers on the chart: On shelves of department stores and specialized retailers like Target, K-mart, Sofia Vergara.
Super Bowl Season
Super Bowl Sunday, considered as a national holiday in America, the football game is not only perennially the most-watched television event of the year and a gold mine for advertisers, but also a bonanza for food, electronics and apparel retailers as consumers typically spend as much during Super Bowl weekend as they spend on any other special day of the year investing in merchandise like jerseys, T-shirts, helmets, hats, knit hats, sweatshirts designed especially for the games every year.
Retailers on the chart: Cash in season for sports brands, sold at department stores and brand showrooms like Walmart, Kohl’s, Nike, ESPN, NFL Sports Apparel.
Estimated to have contributed about $ 17.6 billion to the economy by the National Retail Federation in 2012, Valentine’s Day is one of those days in the year where retailers expect big apparel sales, especially in the colour red, sold throughout the month of February in bulk amounts. Valentine’s Day apparel includes everything from intimate lingerie, to dresses, tops, skirts, shirts, sweatshirts and T-shirts with slogans, etc. for both men and women targeting all age groups from teens to adults.
Retailers on the chart: A favourite with almost every retailer and brand including Uniqlo, Madame, Baseline Clothing, Tesco.
Resort collections hit the retail outlets with apparels made exclusively for the spring season, designed to match the climate of sunny days with chilly evenings, also a new trend with international designers who came up with exclusive resort collections that do not go on the ramps but hit directly for sale on their websites or as collaborations with retail stores. Consisting of individual pieces and dresses with colours and cuts designed to keep the new Spring/Summer season in mind, these collections also include layering pieces such as summer cardigans, shrugs and overthrows.
Retailers on the chart: Some of the big brands of the season are Burberry, Calvin Klein Collection, Costume National, DKNY.
Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Easter Day or Easter Sunday is typically the well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches, which brings a boost in sales with apparel retailers. Comprising of colourful apparel and accessories, the season is a hit with apparel manufacturers as many children ranging from infants, toddlers, kids and tweens look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning which include T-shirts, hoodies, rompers, jumpers, dresses, etc.
Retailers on the chart: A hit with brands targeting the young like GAP, Aeropostale, banana republic, Kohl’s.
St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day, a cultural and religious holiday in the United States, is widely recognized and celebrated throughout the country on the 17th of March, characterized by prominent displays of the colour green, feasting, copious consumption of alcohol, religious observances, numerous parades and shops full of clothes and other merchandise for the festival, wherein retailers come out with exclusive lines targeted towards Irish Americans.
Retailers on the chart: Some of the popular retailers offering for the reason include Urban Outfitters, J.Crew, Yo Ville.
Lawn and Garden Season
The retail season comes with preparations by people to plant new flowers, trees, establishing new lawns for both domestic and commercial set-ups. Though the main focus of the merchandise in the season is garden supplies, but the sales of accessories, such as gloves and aprons with Teflon stain protection to repel dirt and stains rises with loose and functional apparel is also seen.
Retailers on the chart: Popular mostly with department stores like Walmart, Target, Sears, K-mart
The day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment globally, eco-friendly and sustainable clothing are the products being sold this season, following which Ethical clothing has become a six billion dollar a year industry with an inspiring annual growth rate of 40% since 2005. Apparels made from organic fibres, organic cotton, and by adopting a manufacturing process that does not harm the environment, retailers worldwide are using ‘Earth Day’ as a tool for inspiring shoppers to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.
Retailers on the chart: Some of the retailers that led the trend are Puma, H&M, Disney, M&S.
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Retailers on the chart: Fashion brands and designers throughout the globe [/tab]
[tab title=”APRIL – JUNE”]
The late spring allergy season similar to the cold, cough and flu season that falls back in the month of November, is a major season for the pharmaceuticals. Still profitable for apparel retailers and manufacturers dealing with technical textiles, this season comprises of the biggest supply of the anti allergy masks and performance apparels for consumers.
Retailers on the chart: GAP, Macy’s [/tab]
[tab title=”JULY “]
4th of July
US Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July is a federal holiday in the United States, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A big day for apparel retailers, the merchandise includes flags, souvenirs, and slogan apparel selling everywhere from the streets to retail giants.
Retailers on the chart: Macy’s, Old Navy, Target[/tab]
[tab title=”AUGUST – SEPTEMBER”]
Considered as one of the largest sales season for the US industry, second only to the Christmas holiday selling season, the Back-to-School season aims at preparing the students for the upcoming academic year, wherein retailers typically use the time to clear out their Spring/Summer merchandise to make way for the Back-to-School items. Not only in the physical stores, but targeted merchandise is also sold like a rage online with special discounts and schemes being offered.
Retailers on the chart: Almost every retailer including specialty retailers like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, H&M
Similar to resort wear, pre-fall a new addition to the fashion seasons, offers a commercial range of clothes where the sun rules the day and the winds hold the nights. Yet again developed by designers and fashion retail giants both in stores and online, these collections inaugurate the upcoming season of Autumn/Winter.
Retailers on the chart: Zara, Burberry, Givenchy, Jason Wu, Chanel
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Fall party season
With the winters on the doorstep, people start celebrating the subtle chill of the arriving winters and therefore the fall party season is also called early entertaining season. Retailers provide the consumers with the first and fresh designs of winter wear that includes sweaters and mostly cheap yet comfortable apparel.
Retailers on the chart: Walmart, Tesco
Pink Ribbon day
Better known as the Breast Cancer Awareness Day, the day as its name suggests is all about the prevention and support for all those affected by breast cancer. Though, not a recognized base for retail yet, a lot of brands and retail outlets recently have made special collections in pink colour with all funds raised being donated to Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day.
Retailers on the Chart: Jeanswest, Estee Lauder, Urban Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft
Once restricted to pumpkins, candy and a few basic costumes, Halloween, the yearly observed holiday, celebrated on the last day of October is today a major retailing phenomenon that begins in September and segues into the Christmas shopping season. Spending on exotic costumes worn at theme parties, Halloween also serves as an indicator to the retailers of how strong the holiday season would be in the coming months.
Retailers on the chart: Victoria Secrets, Disney, Joe Spencer, Target, Walmart
[tab title=”NOVEMBER “]
Thanksgiving and Black Friday
Thanksgiving Day celebrated as a secular holiday primarily in the United States and Canada, precedes Black Friday, together being considered as the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Being observed as the biggest shopping season, some of the largest US retail chains are no longer closed, starting their Black Friday sales promotions on Thanksgiving Day instead waiting until the Friday after Thanksgiving. The season witnessed sales of almost all kind of winter clothing available as fresh collections in stores throughout.
Retailers on the chart: GAP, Sears, Macy’s, Target
The fourth biggest fashion season after resort, Spring/Summer and pre-fall, fresh collections ranging from apparel which included outerwear as the major category, other winter accessories like shoes, mufflers, stoles, gloves and caps together form this season’s merchandise.
Retailers on the chart: Fashion brands and designers throughout the globe
[tab title=”DECEMBER “]
The busiest and the highest selling shopping season of the year, Christmas is the time when the shoppers buy at their peak. Considered as the biggest opportunities of the retailers to make additional profits in order to balance out any low sales made throughout the year, Christmas merchandise is one of the most happy and vibrant collections being worked on throughout the globe. Also a part of the holiday season is the Boxing Day, traditionally a day following Christmas in the UK, but now observed world over, wherein existing merchandise is offered with dramatic price reductions, becoming the day of the year with the greatest revenue.
Retailers on the chart: Old Navy, K-Mart, Primark, Debenhams, Zara
World Aids Day
Celebrated on the 1st of December, World AID’s Day from a mere campaign has now become a retail season with various famous brands and retailers launching their collections in the colour red with significant slogans, specifically designed to spread awareness, making it a season of substance and style.
Retailers on the chart: GAP, Nike, Armani Exchange, Fidelity Denim
New Year’s Eve
The last day of the year, is all about fun, music and parties which is a worldwide celebration. Targeted towards a fashion-conscious enigmatic crowd, the merchandise includes tops to dresses, shrugs to stoles embellished from glitter to gold, found everywhere from retailers, to brands and online stores and sites as well.
Retailers on the chart: Macy’s, Old Navy