Economy

New noose for clothing stores in the making due to cold weather

“I am now looking at the winter stock,” says Ellen Brantjes, who has three women’s fashion stores under the name Brantjes Fashion in Heemskerk, Heiloo and Alkmaar.

She means that literally, because she is in the attic of one of her shops. Here customers can browse to see if there is anything to their liking. Clothing stores are stuck with old stock en masse, because they had to keep their doors closed for months.

Stays with part

Brantjes soon has clothing worth 30,000 euros in purchase value. “I’ll be left with a part, everything is made to measure, for 10 euros per item of clothing. It’s sad but true,” says Brantjes.

Everything she still gets for the winter collection has been included. When customers buy something, she no longer has to store it. “Customers are happy and maybe they will shop downstairs in the new collection.”

Half left

Joost Middelman also has a large stock of the winter collection. He has four stores, in Oudewater and Montfoort, under the name Since04, plus an outlet store.

At the beginning of January he still had more than 200,000 euros worth of winter clothing in stock. He has now been able to sell about half, but that means that he still has more than a ton to spare.

To the outlet store

Of this, it now hangs for about 30,000 euros in his outlet store, with a discount of 60 to 70 percent on the price tag. Middelman stores the remaining 70,000 euros in clothing. He hopes to be able to sell something next winter, at an even higher discount of 70 to 80 percent.

Whether he can still sell it next year is the question. “It sounds strange, but clothing is perishable. You don’t know if what’s in fashion today will be next year.”

‘Also summer clothes about’

While the shopkeepers are struggling to get rid of the winter collection, the summer clothes are already hanging in the shops.

“That’s the next problem,” says Middelman. The time to sell summer clothes is far too short due to the lockdown, he thinks. “I already know that I will keep a lot of the summer collection.”

‘Hopefully the sale will not come so early’

It is already May and the weather should be nice. “If the weather is good for three months now and the market doesn’t get upset because a major player gets into trouble and starts selling quickly, then it might not be a completely lost summer season”, Middelman hopes.

But some stores already put up the ‘sale’ signs in May, he knows. He hopes that there will also be a relaxation for parties and weddings. After all, if you are allowed to meet again with more people, consumers will buy clothes faster.

Bought less new winter collection

Clothing stores often use the profit of a season to pay for the next collection. Middelman still has some fat on his bones and he has been able to afford the collection for the coming season.

Still, he bought 30 to 35 percent less than usual. That’s partly for financial reasons, he says. Another factor is that he does not want to take the risk of another lockdown.

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