CLOTHING racks are bulging with hot winter trends that are set to become bargain buys as annual stocktake sales begin this week.

Melbourne’s unseasonably warm weather has impacted the sales of coats, boots and knits making this the best season in years to shop the sales.

Former David Jones CEO Paul Zahra says the scenario is not great for retailers but a boom for buyers.

“Not only will the discounts be wider and deeper, there will be full size and colour combinations,” the recently appointed global retail adviser for PwC Australia says.

“That’s not normal at sale time, you’re usually buying broken sizes and collections.”

Myer group general manager for womenswear Karen Brewster admits heavy winter stock sales have been sluggish, leaving a great selection of product for consumers to snap up in Myer’s stocktake sale which begins on Wednesday.
“In recent weeks we’ve had patchy and subdued results around the winter product,” she says.

Melbourne’s cold snap over the last few days has finally seen consumers start to look to supplementing their winter wardrobe with warm and luxurious pieces.

“The sales are perfectly timed, definitely for investment pieces like coats and knee-high boots as well as scarfs, beanies and gloves. Accessorising with smaller items can completely change an outfit,” Ms Webster says.
She says Myer’s strategy for buying for future seasons has been reassessed to incorporate more trans-seasonality, instead of sticking steadfastly to the traditional drops of autumn/winter in February and spring/summer in August.

“It’s almost ‘seasonless’ now. These days I don’t think women are buying things to put away to wear, they want that instant gratification, to buy it and wear it now.”

Mr Zahra agrees, saying in his last two years at the helm of David Jones he removed references to season in the retailer’s catalogues.
“There has been a real change in the consumer’s mindset. It’s about buy now, wear now,” he says.

New to Neighbours star Jodi Anasta spends part of her week in Melbourne now she has joined the cast and is relishing the opportunity to sport real winter wardrobe staples.

“I’m obsessed with winter fashion and I get to embrace it in Melbourne,” she says.

“The sales have come at the perfect time. We can embrace it at the time you can get a bargain.”

David Jones new general manager of womenswear Damian Burke says the retailer is also balancing a trans-seasonal strategy with current season trends.
“We have deliberately been increasing our focus on a trans-seasonal strategy for some time now, or what we call “buy now, wear now”. However, we will also continue to buy for the current season so you can expect to continue finding swimwear in spring / summer and coats and woollen jumpers during autumn / winter,” he says.

“While our Half Yearly Clearance is always a great opportunity to get a great deal on winter fashion not all product are on sale and we will continue to offer full priced knitwear and jackets throughout clearance and beyond.”

David Jones is expected to go on sale for its annual half yearly clearance in June.