Luxury groups ponder ways to get rid of their unsold inventory

EVERY FROCK sold by the likes of Gucci or Givenchy is billed as a must-have that season. But, it turns out, some are more must-have than others. For all the hype they generate, even leading fashion brands struggle to shift much more than half their wares at full price. Whom to sell to once fickle fashionistas have moved on to the next trend? The luxury world is desperately searching for new ways to find a worthy closet for this unwanted inventory.

Dealing with “end-of-season” merchandise is a particularly thorny problem for luxury brands. Offering discounts to offload ageing wares is a time-tested trick among retailers. But cutting prices to clear the shelves is a bad look for labels whose raison d’être is to exude exclusivity.

Chic brands used to bin last year’s garb quietly rather than sell them cheap. That changed after July 2018, when Burberry, a British purveyor of upscale macs, faced a furore as it disclosed having destroyed $38m of bling (it claimed incinerating them was a way of generating energy). France will ban the practice entirely by 2023.

Luxury groups are loth to reduce production, given that goods can be sold for ten times what they cost to make. But putting up “Sale!!!” signs is considered uncouth. Plus, says Luca Solca of Bernstein, a broker, “you have to weigh cash made from discounted sales...

via Business Feeds

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