Another day, another downpour. It’s bloody May and still the rain comes down, the temperature sticks at a teeth-chattering 9 degrees and WGSN reports that clothing sales in Europe are in decline, mostly due to bad weather. You don’t have to be an economist to know that when the weather’s shit, people don’t feel like trudging down the high street. They want to be warm, dry and coddled indoors so they can forget about global warming and the fact that raging storms, floods and earthquakes are here to stay.
Is it possible that part of the problem is the phrase ‘global warming’? Whoever was in charge of that particular branding exercise should have known that to us Brits, ‘global warming’ sounds like something to celebrate – ooh, the weather’s warming up, at last! Great, let’s use more energy! If they’d called it global cooling, I for one would probably have taken it more seriously. The point is, this global warming thing is only going to get worse meaning more bad weather, not less. So retailers need to get clever and think up ideas for getting us to spend money that don’t rely on traditional seasons. Why not a Rainy May Shopping Day where customers get 10% off their shopping when it’s raining? Or serve hot chocolate and cakes during a shower? Or give out free TopShop (or Gap, or M&S) branded umbrellas? Anything to get customers through the doors to make them associate bad weather with good experiences. Ok, I’m no expert and I know there are logistics involved in these things but I know something needs to change. We’re not all broke yet, we do have some money to spend but we want to have a good time spending it.