Forget Economic uncertainty; unseasonably cool and fluctuating weather is being blamed for slow footwear sales in the lead up to the summer party season, according to shoe retailers who spoke to Shoe Fair Online.
Lyn Shea, owner of Direct Footwear in Melton, Victoria, summed up the current trading climate succinctly: “Very ordinary.”
“This season it’s been very up and down and certainly worse than the same time last year, even though we were in the thick of a downturn,” she said. “The weather at the moment certainly has a lot to do with it as it’s cooler than usual and more than usually changeable.”
Shea said she was relieved she had delayed re-stocking the store entirely with summer product, the next batch of which she has saved for release later this month, November, in hope of more clement weather.
“We’ve done a little bit with the onset of the spring carnival but not as much as is typical. I’ve also done some other promotions: a wedding feature in the local paper, a promotion through Curves gym as well as publicity around the yearly Djerriwarrh Festival, which draws a lot of crowds to the area. You have to keep promoting yourself otherwise people tend to forget, particularly in temperatures like these.”
“It’s unusual for us as October is usually a good month. One factor that’s certainly affecting sales is the cooler weather and the fact that we’ve had a lot of rain recently.”
Located near Adelaide’s Central Market, and stocking mid market shoes, Roxann’s benefited from passing trade and was a good indicator of consumer sentiment.
“We’ve been fairly immune to the downturn,. Even this time last year when things were bad for many, we did okay, but I’ve noticed sales dropping off more now. I think the weather’s to blame.”