Saturday, 22 January, 2022

Will the summer sales be a game-changer for small businesses?

The start signal was launched on July 15. The sales, which were originally scheduled to be held on June 24, finally kicked off this week. The poster “Sales: -50%, -60%, -70%” proudly sits in the front of the Amélie boutique on 7th district of Paris. The items were carefully labeled for the occasion: “We hope to make more figures than in previous weeks. Even after the deconfinement, sales were relatively calm,” explains Emilie Hénaut, who works in the shop. It must be said that the results set the tone: 2020 could be the worst turnover for the store in its four years of existence. “We are really feeling the repercussions of the drop in tourism. We are located between the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, usually there is a lot of tourist traffic. Today, American and Asian tourists have deserted, but they are major consumers. “

Read alsoThe postponed summer sales will start on July 15 and will last 4 weeks

“If we offer sales, it’s more to play the game”

Faced with the decline in activity, sales represent for most small businesses an opportunity to sell off stocks, more than a means of significantly increasing their turnover. “My customers have already gone on vacation. Every day, the neighborhood becomes a little more empty. Sales are almost non-existent this year”, underlines Elodie Alleno, manager of the decoration store La Factory before conceding: “Of course, I carries out sales within the store if it can help move the stock or rebuild cash flow, it is still essential for us traders “. With the departure on vacation or the teleworking that persists, the sales promise to be rather symbolic for the manager.

Same case at Yug Studio. Apart from the classes, some shops, mostly in Paris, sell items for yoga. “If we offer sales, it’s more to play the game than because we really need it. We have to sell what little stock we have left”, explains William Wilman, e-commerce & retail manager.

For Catherine Loiret, who has her own leather goods showroom in Paris and sells her own products, the sales mainly help attract new customers: “This year, I have sales only because they don’t affect my usual customers. Some women do not look at the products or the prices displayed if there is no ‘sales’ label, ”she notes. Especially since thehe repercussions of the crisis due to the coronavirus had a direct impact on its showroom: 80% of its customers usually rely on tourists, from tourists to subscribers absent with this crisis. Hence a loss of 60% on its turnover, estimates Catherine Loiret.

Fears persist for September

If the situation remains gloomy, state aid for independent businesses has been of great help to traders. “Without this aid, everything would have been more complicated: as self-employed people we are not entitled to unemployment nor to usual aid. Rents and charges always fall and everything depends on whether the owners are accommodating or not. I think that this aid has allowed a lot of small businesses to survive, quite simply, “says Elodie Alleno. Emilie Hénaut is more mixed: “Compared to the aid they had promised, we had a smaller sum. If the business does not develop in a positive direction, independent shops like us will end up closing.” Fears persist for the next few months. “The month of September is scary. A priori, it risks being complicated: the economy must pick up again, people have to want to consume. We have a great fear vis-à-vis a massive wave of unemployment, an epidemic that is on the rise, “says Elodie Alleno. The sales will not be enough to allay the concerns of this weakened sector.