For retailers, this winter has been been one of extremes. During last year’s holiday season, retailers suffered a slow start for their Autumn/Winter collection because of unusually warm weather.
According to data from Planalytics, a weather intelligence firm that works with retailers to plan for weather changes, sales of women’s boots in New York plunged by 24% in the first half of December. But in January this year, a blizzard hit Washington and New York, opening the opportunity for retailers to finally sell their cold-weather gear.
There’s only one catch, as pointed out by Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners: “If you made it through to Jan. 22 without buying a new parka because it was so warm this year, there is a good chance you may wait.” However, while customers may be reluctant to open their wallets to purchase a new coat, they are more likely to consider buying small winter accessories like scarves, hats, or gloves.
This propensity for customers to choose accessories over clothes is independent of seasons, and the numbers are telling. The apparel side of women’s fashion has been running negative numbers, but accessories sales are booming. In the case of retailer Michael Kors, a company spokeswoman mentioned that accessories and related merchandise accounted for 75% of total revenue.
So as a business owner, how can you capitalize on the popularity of accessories and use these to grow your business?
While I’ve focused on fashion in this post, the tips raised here are also applicable to other industries. If you’re selling outdoor equipment, you can also look to improve your accessory offerings by ensuring you have dedicated store space to showcase these working in tandem with your key business drivers—like adding fishing lures to all your fishing rods.