Have you ever wondered why you start seeing shorts, tank tops and bathing suits in your favorite clothing stores in the middle of the winter? I always used to think that was so odd. Why would people want to think about wearing a bikini when it’s still snowing outside?!
As I’ve come up through the fashion industry for the last two decades, I’ve learned the answer to that question. It’s not super intricate, nor is it really a secret. Mainly, the release cycle for apparel brands was set in place to allow shoppers to purchase their goods well in advance of their upcoming school season. Back in the days when we used to do Back to School shopping in August, the stores wanted to have coats and jackets also available to buy, so winter apparel is typically released in August or September now.
The Spring apparel season “ideal” launch date for most brands is February 15th. Having Summer clothes and warm-weather options available at this time allows parents and their children to shop for Spring Break vacation options well in advance of the March or April vacation time.
From there, it comes down to competition. If Brand A is launching its Spring collection on February 15th to catch the families vacationing for Spring Break, you can be sure that Brands, B, C, X, Y and Z are going to figure out how to compete with that shelf space! With cycling apparel in particular, we compete at this time of year to get our collections into bike shops across the world. And if our production units aren’t going to fill up those shopping racks and shelves on time, you’d better believe that those store owners will look elsewhere. And once you lose that shelf space, it’s really hard to get it back. The brands that can produce and deliver on time year over year make it easy for bike shops to keep going back to them. Reliability is the name of the game!
If you are not planning to launch in February and you're launching your Spring collection in March, April, or May, you might want to consider hiring someone who can help to put you back on the right timeline. Competing for shelf space and competing for customer attention with these big brands is really difficult if you get into the shops late. As a certified project manager and as someone who's been planning Spring launch timelines for over 10 years of my career, this is something Unmarked Street can definitely help you with!