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Fashion highs to High Street lows



Fashion highs to High Street lows

The glitz of the catwalk vs. the gloom of the high street as price increases slow fashion sales

As Fashion Week comes to the capital, the latest retail figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that runway trends won’t be hanging in wardrobes anytime soon. Increases in clothes prices are making it harder for shoppers to keep up with the latest fashions and wallets are being kept firmly shut.

Figures show that sales growth in the fashion market remained solid at 1% over the past 12 weeks. However, with average prices rising by 6% over the same period, it is clear inflation is affecting the market as volumes fall.

Ian Mitchell, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel explains: “The number of fashion items sold across the whole sector has not increased year-on-year since January 2009, the same month that theUKentered recession. The economic downturn has certainly affected shoppers’ behaviour – fashion items are more expensive than they used to be so people can no longer afford to go on big shopping sprees and are buying less.”

With tightening wallets customers are also becoming less adventurous and sticking to the big names on the high street. Independent fashion retailers continue to suffer, with a 0.6% drop in market share taking their overall presence in the market to just 3.6%.

Ian continues: “The online fashion market continues to grow at a healthy 8% but this is significantly slower than the 26% we saw in the same period last year. 2011 growth is driven by the high-profile launches of several high street brands online; however it’s likely that online growth will stall even further once they are fully established.”

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