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Forget the Basics — How Retailers Plan to Boost Sales This Fall
CNBC.com | March 07, 2012 | 11:00 AM EST

Consumers are in the driver’s seat as retailers move away from wardrobe staples and shift to fashion-forward pieces while planning their upcoming fall inventories, industry analysts said.

To cater to a more strategic and tech savvy shopper, retailers are increasing their e-commerce offerings and incorporating the latest fashion trends instead of playing it safe as they try to entice consumers to break out their wallets and boost sales.

“I think smart retailers who are trying to find a way to capture the consumer’s dollar know that fashion is where they have the best opportunity,” said Catherine Moellering, executive vice president of The Tobe Report, a fashion retail consulting firm. “Basics are really going to be a price war.”

While recession-era inventories emphasized versatile basic pieces with minimal embellishment that avoided the risk of trying to capture the hottest runway looks, the upcoming fall season will be different.

Designers will take their cues from New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and other fashion shows around the world as they ramp up the risktaking in their fall inventories and seek to build upon recent retail sales gains and rising consumer confidence.

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