Fashion’s Night Out, the industry’s epic annual evening of free cocktails, finger food, celebrity stalking and general retail debauchery, is going on hiatus. Having launched in 2009 at the height of the economic recession with the hopes of boosting retailer revenue, the one-night-only shopping extravaganza has taken place every September since—and by 2012, it had grown to include stores in 500 U.S. and 30 international cities.
Despite that expansion, however, certain questions remained: with the global economy beginning to bounce back, was a regular Fashion’s Night Out still needed? Moreover, was it even making any money for the participating retailers? “I don’t think the success of it was measured only by numbers or money, but was really about engagement," the CFDA’s chief executive officer Steven Kolb told WWD. "Everyone feels we had a great four years."
A notice on the official Fashion’s Night Out website explains that the U.S. leg of the event is being halted "in order to enable retailers to channel their resources toward strategies more in keeping with their current priorities." In other words, without the burden of throwing a pricey shopping party each September, boutiques and designers will be able to funnel those funds toward their own bottom line: sales, brand expansion and so on. FNO will continue internationally in 19 other countries.
Lest you think that FNO’s hiatus indicates a farewell to swag-filled store events, however, fret not. According to WWD, retailers are still planning to hold promotional events and designer appearances throughout the year—just not all simultaneously and on the same night. And frankly, who was actually able to make more than two or three different stops each Fashion’s Night Out anyway?
Are you sad to say goodbye to FNO? Let us know!
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