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  • Aesthetics + Economics is my attempt to find an outlet for an intense interest in fashion and design in general. My aims are twofold: to find interlocutors so that I might refine my knowledge of the inner workings of fashion and the design-oriented business world, and to share that interest and information with fellow fashion devotees! Comments are VERY welcome. Please tell me what you think, whether it be to agree, disagree, argue, or enlighten me. The banner image features a picture from "Bad is the New Good" photographed by Eugenio Recuenco.

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that's interesting, hope you find something amazing and worthy of envy.


Very interesting, indeed. After working retail and wholesale, I've come to the conclusion that the socialist values of soldes are not all that good for the actual economy, and especially not merchants.
It's a very basic math equation. The retailer buys clothing at wholesale and sells it for a markup of, let's say an average, 58%. They are hoping that the pieces they buy will sell at a high turnover rate so that they (1) don't waste floor space on items that don't move and (2) actually generate a profit. It becomes problematic when there is a collection or even a few pieces that don't sell at the markup price. What is the retailer to do? Wait for the government sanctioned soldes and keep on wasting precious floor or warehouse space? Or take 20% off the item's price and sell it faster.
It's better for the consumer (I get things cheaper, faster) and the retailer (they have a higher sell-through and a profit). Furthermore, it's always easier to sell a product when it's the actual season for it. With soldes, you end up selling that ugly beaver-trimmed wool suit that you have left over from Fall 2005 in the hottest summer month. And who knows if it will even sell? Many consumers don't like to buy such items in advance. With sales, you mark them down 50% in the winter, reap the little profit you can, and vow to never again invest in such problematic pieces.
What do you think?


Thanks for such a thoughtful comment Liza.

I think you make a particularly good point when you mention how a lot of wintry items must be sold in July in the "soldes" system. That has definitely got to be an issue.

I wonder what a retailer would have to say on the issue--I think they would agree with you. In that position, I certaintly would.


Such a pity you didn't actually do any research beforehand... Or you might have learned that France allows "promotions" all year round, as long as they obey certain restrictions such as a publicized time frame, concern only part of the stock, clearly state the price reductions, ect...

An example could be "Les 10 jours en Or", when during 10 days a shop will offer a 25% discount on selected items (clothes or TVs, doesn't matter).

Sales happen all the time, they just can't be refered to as such except during the 2 six-weeks official Soldes...

You also have "going out of business sales" called Liquidations, which are highly controlled but still completly legal... & advertised on the radio!!!

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