Some retailers have missed a trick, probably on purpose, while trading has been relatively okay. It is time that there were more attempts at differentiation across the regions.
Food tastes vary, as such, epicurean retailing does take some account of it. I can remember one supermarket chain coming in for some hefty criticisms, really tart comments, no holds barred, when the stores took on a high profile across the land. No, we didn't all want to be force fed with food from 'tripe and stuffing' land, from whence they had led their trusty troops to impose their food lore. Within a relatively short space of trading time, the food retail chain had to accommodate a customer base with regional variations to maintain their market share.
Not so clothes. We were being offered early Summer ranges; delightful beach sarongs, swimming costumes, bikinis, shorts - admittedly Bermuda length - linen trousers, gossamer blouses and short sleeved cardigans, when it was still icy weather here, with temperatures hovering around zero. People were looking to top up with extra fleeces, long sleeved jumpers, vests and camisoles, woollen scarves and warm hats. Surely the much lauded just- in- time (JIT) trading could have been used to its best advantage. Where was it?
A couple of small local independent shops that felt duty bound to compete with market trends, including behaviour, (though not price and not necessarily quality) didn't even dither, they blundered into the new season's garment wear. They will all be wringing their till rolls with early and mid-season sales. I am not so sure that the sales will minimise losses this year, as an added unforeseen problem has been that of Volcanic eruption, which will make it difficult for many people who might have done, to plan for leisure travel.
Next year is another story, as many other economic factors will have to be taken into account that will effect discretionary spending. I wonder if it will create a little original thinking, perhaps a bit of clever differentiated marketing.