A day in October when you are not going to take much money is the perfect time to shut up shop and remerchandise rather than muddling through.
The Topshop ‘reset’ is nothing more than common sense, albeit doing everything at a stroke might appear dramatic.
Staring into the Newcastle branch of Lakeland last week, some of the Christmas bunting had already been put in place, while others were doubtless in the throes of preparing for the season of goodwill and rejoicing.
Something of the kind will have informed the decision to totally remerchandise the Topshop store portfolio, or at least part of it, today.
And doing this on a Monday seems obvious. Traditionally this is the day when you are least likely to make meaningful money, and for many it’s simply a day of recovery from weekend trading.
“If you wander past the windows of the retailer’s biggest store on a regular basis, it is apparent that regular resets are part and parcel of the proposition”
The fact that in this instance the largest stores are immune from the initiative is not to be wondered at either.
It would take a great deal longer than a few hours to reset the Oxford Circus flagship, and many of the store’s individual departments are bigger than a run-of-the-mill provincial Topshop.
Besides, if you wander past the windows of the retailer’s biggest store on a regular basis, it is apparent that regular resets are part and parcel of the proposition.
It is also worth considering the alternative.
Sacrificing a Monday in mid-October’s turnover is worth it merely because Topshop management will be hoping that the transformation from pre- to post-reset will be sufficient to cause shoppers to stop in their tracks and head into the stores.
Contrast this with the normal pre-‘golden quarter’ modus operandi. This involves trying to get things ready for peak while customers struggle around staff who are busy endeavouring to make this a reality; off-putting at the best of times.
October, for most, is the calm before the storm as retailers ready themselves for the fray. As such, a reset is something that others should think about.
Fashion means surprise, and retailers that fail to quicken the pulse are generally those that do not do well in the short or long term.
Full marks to Topshop therefore for seizing the moment and using the October low to make more of the highs that it hopes will follow later in the month and on into November and December.
The fact that much is made of it is evidence of how many sluggards there are in what should be one of retail’s fastest-moving areas.