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US retailers stick to the tried and tested

US companies don’t take a chance on new fashion or new ideas. They are all hiding behind tried and true apparel such as denim. The main problem is the lack of passion that pervades the industry. Executives are afraid to be on the forefront of creating a new look.

Outrageous new ideas come from Paris, London, and Milan. But no one puts these ideas to work and creates a new boutique with interpretations of what is seen in foreign lands. The US delights in selling secondhand clothes, denim, and markdowns. That little black dress is gone, cargo pants are a thing of the past. Macy’s, JC Penney, Madewell and Gap sell secondhand clothes instead of introducing new fashions. The merchandise has been cleaned and scrubbed, but all the same shopping in these stores is about buying hand-me-downs. These sell and they add to profits but they do not create an image that a store can be proud of. However Nordstrom has taken a different approach. Nordstrom is stocked with merchandise that has been returned by its customers. Each item is cleaned, refurbished, and sold at about half its original price. That makes sense, since it does not introduce new brands that the store did not carry, and it does not confuse the fashion message Nordstrom is trying to create.