“Two things may come to the rescue of exasperated inventory liquidators. The first is the rise of second-hand-clothes sales online: expect to see many ‘used’ frocks on offer that are in fact brand new. The second is ‘up-cycling’, when an unsold dress gets trimmed, combined and dyed into a new fabulous outfit.”
Discount retailer Syms and its Filene’s Basement subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to liquidate.
(Via WSJ.com: US Business)
Sometimes it’s not a good idea to buy things in a bankruptcy sale. In a weak economy and with tight credit the margin of error gets smaller. If the economy was growing or strong, this could work.The weak economy and integrating in the assets of Filene’s Basement distracted Syms management from what they should have been focusing on … creating customers for their own stores.
When I think Syms, I think suits. Well, in a weak economy people are not looking for new suits. They might have considered expanding their brand to comfort-casual to get more people in the stores. People want to look good and be comfortable with what they are wearing.
The U.S. economy is changing. Some expanding trends are, contracting, consulting and casual dress.
Certainly there are some people still buying suits in a weak or contracting economy. Some firms still have old school dress. When facing increasingly intense competition it’s important to focus, focus, focus if you want to win and survive. The weak players will be eaten by the stronger players or by some adjacent market that destroys ones own market segment. In the Syms example it’s professional dress. The casual dress market is adjacent to and expanding, at the same time also taking away customers.