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Season’s Greetings

The sun is shining, kids are out of school and pools and beaches are crowded so naturally retailers across the country are unpacking deliveries of… …

The sun is shining, kids are out of school and pools and beaches are crowded so naturally retailers across the country are unpacking deliveries of… winter coats. Just as swimwear landed in stores in February when bone-chilling temps made donning a skimpy bikini the least appealing idea ever, outerwear is taking up space (and open to buy) when even the thought of bundling up could lead to heat stroke. Every season the question emerges, why is the product cycle so off? And the query gains more relevance given that shoppers are more buy-now/wear-now oriented than ever. What gives? Why is the apparel industry unable (or unwilling) to adapt? On the current schedule, everyone looses. Department stores’ margins plummet when stock is rushed into deep discounts before the season is even underway in order to make room for the next too-soon delivery. Similarly boutiques have a small window in which to sell their products before the majors go on sale and ruin the season. Is it possible to readjust the product cycle or is this just the rhetorical question for the ages?

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