British fashion market returns to growth

The British fashion market has returned to growth as retailers move away from heavy discounting and seasonal trends that bear little relation to unpredictable weather, figures show.

The market covering clothing, footwear and accessories increased by 0.2% in the year ending September 24, Kantar Worldpanel said.

Glen Tooke, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: "For years we've seen heavy discounting and this created an atmosphere of mistrust. Consumers felt clothing wasn't worth its full price.

The British fashion market has returned to growth as retailers turn away from heavy discounting.
The British fashion market has returned to growth as retailers turn away from heavy discounting.

"Retailers have made a significant effort to address this by focusing on getting the value right from the off, and as a result shoppers have more confidence in buying at the original price."

He added: "Retailers are finally recognising that most shoppers aren't after what's 'in season', partly because trends so often bear little relation to the British weather, and larger ranges and a more flexible approach to stock control are helping to break this cycle."

Kantar's latest figures show that fashion items sold at full price are now driving growth, up 2% year on year and contributing an extra £483 million to the market since this time last year.

Meanwhile, discounting is down 2.7% during the same period with 98 million fewer items sold on promotion.

Mr Tooke said: "Consumers may be buying more every time they shop, but at the same time they're shopping less frequently, making two fewer visits per year on average compared to 2015."

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