Consumer News

Why Stores Stock Bathing Suits, But No Boots In Winter

Deciphering Stores’ Fashion Cycles
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File image (credit: AP)

File image (credit: AP)

WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben Paula Ebben
Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – It doesn’t make much sense when you’re shopping in the depths of winter and the stores are filled with bikinis, but there are no boots to be found.

A number of women on Commonwealth Avenue near Boston University told us they were not interested in shopping for summer fashions when the temperature is below freezing.

“I am just not thinking of that right now, “said one woman.

Advertising executive and Babson College professor Glenn Kelley says there is a retailing strategy involved here.

First, the stores are playing upon our moods.

“Because people are just so tired of the snow and rain and cold and gray for months and months of winter, so there is kind of a psychological factor of people wanting to move it along,” explained Kelley.

If that means that a new bathing suit in the middle of winter can make you at least feel better, then there is going to be competition for that business.

Paula Ebben reports

“They are trying to be the first retailers to get those buyers in the door, so I think that’s why you are seeing earlier and earlier moves,” added Kelley.

Think of it like buying Christmas ornaments in August. Kelley says consumers can make this work for them, even it does seem a bit odd.

“You have the best selection at that point, and if retailers are offering hot prices and hot sales on these items, winter coats in summer or swim suits in winter, the consumer actually has the advantage because you will have a good deal, and you will get the best selection,” according to Kelley.

Another factor is the fashion cycle. It’s based on just two seasons: Spring and Fall. That also creates some overlap with the some styles of clothing.

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