Rise of the Recessionistas
Fashion meets frugality as self-confidence, pragmatism drive labels to broad market.
The luxury sector, which makes up roughly 5 percent of the overall apparel market, is in for “rough sailing” through the end of this year, says retail expert Scott Testa.
The numbers tell the story, says Mr. Testa, professor of marketing at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He points to the March 2008 to March 2009 sales figures, which show a 30 percent decline for Neiman Marcus and a 23 percent decline for Saks Fifth Avenue. During the same period, Target declined 6.3 percent and Kohl’s slumped only 4.3 percent. “Given these numbers, it’s clear that shoppers are more willing to spend in a low-cost environment,” he says. “Many top designers are rethinking new ways to put their brand in front of those shoppers.”
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