Traders fear disappointing results, due to the epidemic context and inflation.
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Let’s go for a month of winter sales. From Wednesday January 11 until February 8, consumers will be able to hunt for bargains. But traders, “not sure to figure the number” hoped, fear that the Covid-19 epidemic will dissuade them from spending, at least in stores. “The concern is strong, we see that the decision to put everyone to telework [pour endiguer la propagation du Covid-19] has already had a significant impact on the influx into stores “, alert Florence Bonnet-Touré, the secretary general of the National Clothing Federation (FNH), which represents independent businesses in the sector.
In this uncertain environment, traders could be tempted to cut prices significantly, to get the period off to a good start. “We are already seeing private sales at 50%. The sales will start very, very strong because we do not know what will happen after”, estimates Christian Baulme, president of the Round of districts which represents 400 merchants of Bordeaux.
The context of inflation is also likely to weigh on sales because, when other expenditure items are more important, consumers reduce the budget allocated to fashion spending. Something to worry traders: 8 out of 10 independents say they are worried about the sustainability of their commercial activity in 2022, according to the FNH.