Retailing Sunglasses: Keeping Up with the Seasons
As a retailer of sunglasses, you are keenly aware that what you do is affected by the seasons. Just remember that seasonal changes are not just a style thing in your industry. In other words, the idea of not wearing white past Labor Day is not the only driving factor for purchasing sunglasses. Fashions do change from season to season, but changes in retailer inventories have to account for function as well.
At Olympic Eyewear in Utah, designers are constantly looking for new trends they can capitalize on. Following trends is one of the ways Olympic Eyewear stays ahead of seasonal changes. But again, they are looking on more than mere style alone. They have to look at the function of sunglasses related to the kind of weather they will be used in.
Summer Is Now Gone
A good way to illustrate the seasonal nature of sunglasses is to take a look at the micro trend that was so hot this past summer. All the rich and famous – from fashion models to actresses – embraced the micro sunglasses movement with all the bravado they could muster. More than one celebrity was found wearing a pair of sunglasses that looked like something John Lennon would have worn the 1970s. Small, circular, and definitely minimalist.
Celebrities could get away with micro sunglasses during the summer because the weather was mostly favorable. They could wear them equally well on the beach and during a day-long shopping trip on Rodeo Drive. But guess what? Summer is gone. Micro sunglasses are fading as quickly as the amount of available sunlight.
Retailers are now looking to update their inventories in preparation for what will be the trends of late autumn and early winter. They have to start thinking about how sunglasses will be used during what is considered the off-season. As such, they should be considering a number of key factors:
- Less Daylight – Fewer daylight hours means people will be wearing their sunglasses less often. Any new purchases will likely be less about style and more about function as a result. After all, celebrities are not dying to make style points in the dead of winter.
- Winter Sports – Among the biggest purchasers of sunglasses during the winter are skiers and snowboarders. They look for that new pair of shades that they can take to the slopes and not worry about breaking. You can bet there will not be a single skier or snowboarder sporting micro sunglasses this winter. Winter athletes want eyewear that offers full sun protection and rugged durability.
- Fall and Winter Fashions – For the hopelessly stylish (those who cannot bear to be out of style no matter the season) buying new sunglasses means looking for a pair or two that go with seasonal fashions. Bright colors will be mostly out while blacks, grays, and dark blues will be in. Plastic frames are also preferred this time of year.
Do Not Wait to Order
The fact that seasonal changes affect the retail sales of sunglasses is a constant reminder that retailers should not wait too long to place their orders. It is already September (at the time of writing), so the inventory a retailer plans to offer during the holiday shopping season needs to be ordered now. Retailers need a month to get product in, inventoried, and on the shelves.
Come January, retailers will be repeating the process in anticipation of spring. What was hot during the winter will be cold come April; retailers have to be ready with a fresh inventory of designer sunglasses that meet the needs of their ever-enthusiastic customers.