It's off this Wednesday for the summer sales and consumers will have until July 19 to take advantage of them.

In an uncertain context marked by galloping inflation, traders are above all hoping for a revival of the sector during this period.

“There will be good deals to be had from the start of the sales,” assures Yohann Petiot, general manager of the Alliance du Commerce (clothing, shoe and city center businesses).

However, "it is difficult to know how customers will react" and to anticipate the number of shops in the coming days, in particular due to inflation that has not been seen for 30 years.

The rise in prices is seen as "a risky period" for the fashion and clothing sector, adds Yohann Petiot.

“When customers have to arbitrate on their consumption, it is often unfavorable to the sector”.

However, the sales remain compatible with “the search for the right price”.

This should therefore restore “purchasing power to customers”.

A “fragile upturn” in May

Traders also hope to replenish their cash, while in-store sales are still down "7%" cumulatively, since the start of 2022 compared to 2019, according to the Trade Alliance, despite "an upturn fragile” in May.

After this small rebound in sales in May, the beginning of June “was down again”.

Added to this is the increase in production, operating or transport costs, which has affected the entire sector.

Sellers must "be able to preserve their margins, assume the increase in costs", explains Yohann Petiot.

Reimbursement of State Guaranteed Loans also started in April.

Omicron, war in Ukraine, inflation…

Finally, household morale, which plays into the desire to consume, has been hard hit since the start of the year, which began with the Omicron variant, recalled Monday Gildas Minvielle, director of the economic observatory of the French Fashion Institute (IFM).

Added to this was the conflict in Ukraine and the rise in inflation in many expenditure items, energy, transport and then food.

Consumers' environmental concerns can also have a negative impact on store traffic, while the second-hand market has become widely democratized.

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