Do most small retail fashion businesses slow down in the summer? That’s a well kept secret. Little is written about it, but it happens nearly every summer. I can look at statistics going back five years on our website and see a dip in visitors during the summer months. Sales figures reflect the same thing. For most small fashion businesses, summers are going to be slower. Why does this happen?
First of all, people are going on vacation or doing things outdoors they couldn’t do in winter months. That means less time shopping and less time in front of the computer. Also big retail events like prom, Easter, and Mother’s Day are over.
ITEMS AND EVENTS TO PICK UP SUMMER SALES
The good news is there are items that have a track record of increased sales in the summer or, at least remaining steady. While many of the events we look forward to are pasts, there are many that arrive in summer, but receive less fanfare. Think of all the outdoor retail events that summer brings—swap meets, street fairs, festivals, church picnics, craft shows, flea markets, conventions, garden shows, tourist destinations, and outdoor sporting events. Opportunities are endless. We need to change our focus to satisfy consumers’ wants for summer months.
For us, one item surges ahead of all others every summer. That item is hats. As some items slow, casual hats pick up the slack. And there are a variety of hats that sell. The inexpensive straw hats for festival goers, outdoor workers, and vacationers are high on the list. Rush straw hats with wide enough brims to provide relief form the sun like safari and gambler hats are big. Those more interested in looks than shade also like rush straw fedoras.
Women working in their yard or engaged in outdoor events like simple wide brim straws. Rush and palm straw deliver swinger shapes at inexpensive prices for ladies.
But when they want something more fashionable, wide brims and super wide brims are the ladies choices. Upbrims like kettles are also popular ladies summer hats. And sewn-and-braid wheat straws provide a boutique quality hat inspired by Milan straws.
JEWELRY THAT REMAINS STEADY OR PEAKS IN THE SUMMER
Besides hats, there categories of jewelry that remain steady or increase in sales during summer months. Before we get to them, let’s think about the sales opportunities listed above. Vendors at most of these events have booths and their booths draw customers because they focus on one category of merchandise. Our business sees three categories of jewelry that vendors chose to make a statement at these events:
- Hematite Jewelry
- Gemstone Jewelry
- Theme Pendants and Earrings
One thing that makes these categories good is they have a story to tell. Remember a decade ago when people wore copper bracelets because they felt the bracelets provided relief from arthritic pain? Today people believe that about hematite jewelry. Like copper bracelets, hematite is a mineral. Many are certain that wearing hematite relieves pain even they will never find it documented in a medical journal.
Another thing about hematite jewelry is all the carved pendants the necklaces have. These themes pull at the heart strings of many shoppers. And they are not al themes for gals. Hematite jewelry also has wolf heads, horses, arrowheads, and other pendants that appeal to guys. It’s hard to resist this inexpensive jewelry with its steel gray color and high luster.
So many different semi precious stones and each piece unique—you have to love this business. A booth of gemstone jewelry has endless stories to tell. These natural stones have banding, inclusions, color, hardness, and a million other things to talk about.
The America Indians used it and probably every culture in the history of the world. It’s in our blood. We can’t look down and see an interesting stone without picking it up. The cold feel indicates it’s real. If I were doing shows, this would be my booth.
THEME PENDANTS AND EARRINGS
Who can resists a booth full of shiny crafted metal dimensionally shaped in every theme imaginable? That is what the “Best” pendant and matching earring line offers. This intricately crafted fashion jewelry is the collectibles of the next generation. Most pieces are stamped from a thin sheet of steel with dimensionally raised shape with detail that is unbelievable. From motorcycles to flower blossoms and baseball Mom pendants, this line hardly misses a theme.
Some are epoxied with color, but most have a high polished silver plated finish that can’t be distinguished from sterling silver. The pendant numbers begin with PD. If you change the PD to FS and put the code number starting with FS in the search on the site, it will bring up the matching earrings and you can make sets. For the utmost in craftsmanship, it is hard to beat this line in fashion jewelry. A booth of this merchandise draws a crowd.
Everyone knows summer is vacation time, but it is also a time when many organizations have their conventions. What are the major conventions that assemble during the summer months? Church conventions, Veterans groups, and Masonic conventions have to be among the most numerous. Certain items see a sharp increase in sales because of these conventions.
WHITE DRESS HATS AND SCARVES FOR CHURCH CONVENTIONS
At church conventions, many congregations require their members to wear a white dress hat on a certain day. This increases the demand for white church hats at a time when many wholesalers are out of dress hats. We try to be long in white church hats to prepare for the summer demand. Sinamays, organzas, pillboxes, and satin braid hats—nearly everything your customers will want in white church hats is still available on the site.
Scarves are also important for these conventions. Church conventions like scarves in religious themes. These are not easy to find. We do our best to keep as many designs as possible in our selection of scares to fill this need.
Since many of these conventions are gospel music workshops, music scarves also do well. Even if you are not a convention vendor, many of these items will sell in your shop for your customers going to conventions.
NECKTIES FOR CONVENTIONS
Men’s ties that have themes are important items for summer conventions. Our site has a category for Masonic ties, religious ties, and American flag ties. These categories fill the needs for Masonic conventions, Church conventions, and Veterans conventions. Again, if your shop is near the convention center or your customers are going to attend, you have an excellent opportunity to move this merchandise. Summer is the best time of the year for these theme ties, mostly because of all these conventions.
This is the tip of the iceberg for items that increase in sales during the summer months. So we can feel better about summer business. In the seventies, our business concentrated on American Indian jewelry and we did a lot of festivals and outdoor events. In those days, summer was the best time of the year and I hated to see it end.