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Summer Sales Disappoint
The Summer sales have just begun but the outcome of the first week is not very encouraging. Costumers have already spent 15% less compared to the same period in 2012.
The data is the result of a survey by Fismo-Confesercenti on a sample survey of retailers in some Italian cities. Considerable differences have been reported regarding the products and the locations, as for example the shops in tourist areas have sold more.
In Milan in particular, especially in the fashion headquarter, the sales were stable or increased thanks to the presence of European and overseas tourists.
In Turin the Summer sales remained on the level of last year as there has been a lukewarm start, also due to too many previous promotions. Customers bought mostly shirts and trousers, and less shoes and accessories. In Bologna there has been a widespread decline in sales, up to -20%, especially with regards to accessories and clothing from medium to high prices, while the sale of medium and low cost products was stable. In Bari there was a real slump in sales of branded products, even in the order of 25% less.
According to estimates by the “Ufficio studi di Confcommercio”, each family will spend, on average, for the purchase of clothing and footwear on sale 229 Euros, less than 100 Euros for each family member for a total value of 3.6 billion. This year the decline in the families’ disposable income was reflected in the cutting down on consumption in general, from clothes to food.
The sales season has just begun, in most of the Italian cities they will go on through all August but sales can be a real jungle so it’s important to know the rights a costumer has in Italy during the sales season:
1. Change: the possibility to change the product after you purchased it is generally left to the discretion of the retailer, unless the product is damaged or does not conform to the characteristics of the product (Article 1519 “Civil code” introduced by Legislative Decree no. 24/2002). In this case the retailer is obliged to repair, replace or refund the product. The buyer is, however, required to report the defect of the product within two months from the date of discovery of the defect.
2. Trying cloths on: there is no obligation. It is at the discretion of the retailer.
3. Payments: Credit cards must be accepted by the retailer where it is exposed in the store the sign attesting the relevant Convention.
4. Products for sale: items of the season that are offered on sale must be subject to substantial depreciation. However, nothing prevents retailers from selling even items not belonging to the current season.
5. Price: retailers are obliged to indicate the normal selling price, the discount and the final price.