For a large part of my former career, the “previous life” many women refer to as the post college/pre-children incarnation of their work selves, I was in (gasp!) retail. Working retail means you are a Jack of All Trades, Master of Some. I did everything from run stores, buy the merchandise for stores, hire and fire people, climb in window displays, and design new stores from the ground up. Folding sweaters in neat piles one moment, running conference calls with cranky contractors and architects the next (Really, get over yourselves, boys. Or hire more women. Thanks.) In every role I played in my former career (yes, I ran screaming), there is one element besides sales that every retailer lives and breathes, and that is Holiday (don’t call it Christmas!). The seasonality of retail is such that an entire day has been named for the first day of the almost-end-of-the-year that stores finally begin to turn a profit: Black Friday.
Now, Black Friday in and of itself is a whole other ball of blogging wax I can expound on say, in November. Maybe on Cyber Monday, or Small Business Saturday. Perhaps I’ll live blog FROM the Thanksgiving Dinner Table to talk about coupons and flash sales. But for now, I wanted to mention that this general seasonality of retail has been making consumers crazy for years. And it’s only getting worse. I cannot count how many clients and friends have asked me, “WHY ARE THERE WOOL SWEATERS IN THE STORES IN JULY!!!!” It used to be LATE August when Fall clothing would ship, presumably giving folks time to ready themselves for cooler temps which used to come like clockwork the day after labor day. Global Warming has definitely played a part in how we shop and dress, but the folks who make and ship clothing haven’t seemed to take note. Worse yet, are the displays. Visual Merchandisers like myself would roll our tired eyes at having to implement holiday decorations over night for Black Friday, but fast forward a few years and they have been bumped earlier and earlier. Columbus Day? No, too late. Mid-September? Sure! Joy to the World and snow men and all of it. Good thing, because it’s 73 degrees outside. Although, then again, it has snowed the past two Octobers in the Northeast.
When I was thinking today of what I wanted to trendslate, I noticed other bloggers readily posting their Fall 2014 Trend Lists. We know how I feel about lists, but today is August 1. I am mourning the loss of July, and still gearing up for the FIVE Saturdays August 2014 so generously offers, and although I may peruse the offerings in a magazine, hoping the perfect boot or leather jacket will cheer me up at Summer’s end, for now I say, break out the daisy dukes, bikinis on top.