By Guest blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
NYT Headline: Retailers Face An Ominous Holiday Sign
Sales of women’s clothing, a traditional pillar of the holiday shopping season, are unusually weak so far this year, according to a major credit card company, an ominous sign for the retail industry.
From high-end dresses to bargain coats, spending on women’s apparel dropped nearly 6 percent during the first half of the Christmas season, compared with the same period last year, according to MasterCard Advisors, a division of the credit card company.
Analysts blamed a rough economy, which has discouraged women — and mothers, in particular — from splurging on clothing for themselves and a lack of compelling fashions this winter.
My Take: It had to happen eventually - for three reasons (economy, schnomey)
1. The same ol' same ol'. You see the same things in every store, with little variation. You can get the "Chico look" in J. Jill, Coldwater Creek and Ann Taylor - and that's just in one strip in the Albuquerque Uptown "upscale" shopping center a mile from my house.
2. Real women want real clothes. Us aging baby boomers simply do not look good in the low-rider, skin-tight, belly-baring, fluffy puffy stuff that fills so many stores. When I do see someone of my generation wearing such things, I shudder. Trying way, way too hard and failing. We have hips, thighs, wrinkles (and I'm happy with all of it, thank you) - so a lot of the "new" stuff only works on very young, very thin girls who would look cute in anything.
And, my days of sacrificing comfort for looks are long gone. (You can look good and be comfortable, but it's a chore to find the right clothes.) No, I don't want to look like my grandmother...but I don't look good in mini granny dresses either.
3. The China Syndrome. Perhaps we're starting to check labels. I know I am. If it says "made in China" I move on. I'd rather spend the same dollars in a fair trade clothing store...and get something really interesting and unique. (Here in Albuquerque, I shop at Celebro Natural Living). For what I would spend on a boring, badly-made jacket that looks like everything else - I can get something that's quality, fun and age appropriate! And I know it didn't come from a sweatshop.
What do you think, fellow femmes?