Italian clothing firms call for timing of sales to reflect shifting seasons

MILAN (Reuters) - Later, longer summers and milder winters in Italy have prompted two of its biggest clothing retailers to ask for a later timeline for implementing discounts on seasonal looks.

Clothing retailers often seek to mark down prices on unsold inventory, to clear their shelves for the coming season. The timing of seasonal price reductions in Italy is decided by regional authorities, after consulting with retail associations.

Traditionally, retailers in Italy began discounting summer clothing in early July and winter wear at the start of January.

But OVS and Pianoforte Holding both said this year's summer sales should be postponed as rainy weather has meant shoppers are delaying shopping for summer clothes.

"Seasons have changed and we need to align the sales calendar to the new climate pattern," said Gianluigi Cimmino, CEO of Pianoforte Holding, which owns lingerie and swimsuit retailer Yamamay and handbag maker Carpisa.

Cimmino said he was asking for the summer sales to be postponed to mid-July.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, Editing by Helen Reid and Alexander Smith)