Sep 19, 2017
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Discounter fashion sales to soar as Lidl Heidi Klum line makes impact - GlobalData

Sep 19, 2017

The current high profile TV ad campaign for Lidl’s Esmara by Heidi Klum fashion range  is focusing attention not just on supermarket fashion lines but also on the way ultra-value retailers are aggressively carving out market share.

Lidl Esmara by Heidi Klum

And this will result in discounter clothing sales almost doubling within five years, according to new analysis. Analysts at GlobalData said sales should growth as much as 90.7% by 2022.

The Esmara by Heidi Klum range “has lived up to expectations and paves the way for material growth through clothing for the discounters” the researchers said.

Within the discount channel, which includes value-focused general merchandise chains and grocers, clothing is the most under-penetrated sector with just a 0.6% share, or £334m of the total UK clothing market. Improvement in the image of discounters, impulse buying from their existing customers, and undercutting other value retailers on price will see the market value rise to £643m in 2022 according to the new analysis.

Klum’s range extensive range is limited edition in that it will only be available until stock sells out, a strategy Lidl has followed successfully with other launches. The #LETSWOW social media campaign for new range has generated plenty of interest and built up expectations to the point of people queuing outside of their local Lidl Tuesday morning to get their hands on the products. This is “something we are more familiar with seeing at Topshop or H&M, and not at a food and grocery specialist,” Molly Johnson-Jones, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, said.

The company is offering very low prices and using a similar strategy to that seen for its groceries with staples such as jeans at £9.99 alongside items with more of a “luxury feel such as £12.99 sequin blazers, £19.99 leopard print trench coats.”

GlobalData said Lidl is able to offer such low prices partly due high volumes creating a scale advantage but also its no-frills merchandising. The items are on shelves in boxes with customers not allowed to remove them from their boxes. That means no investment in special store fixtures and no extra staff needed to merchandise/tidy the collection.

Lidl isn’t alone in making a serious assault on the fashion market with discounter Poundland buying Pep & Co and also ramping up its fashion offer as a result. And while such retailers are only a small threat to existing clothing vendors for now, when they gain momentum and consumer trust in their collections, other chains will feel the impact, Johnson-Jones added.


Lidl and Poundland could even undercut highly successful value clothing providers such as Primark on many items, and thus will precipitate switching away from such value retailers, particularly among the discounters’ current shopper base.

With over 60% of UK consumers shopping at a discounter in 2017, the potential customer base for discount clothing is “substantial”.

Johnson-Jones said: “Clothing is more compatible with the discount model than it appears, particularly in the way that Lidl has approached Esmara. The celebrity collaboration creates anticipation and a feeling of exclusivity away from the discount reputation of a store, and Lidl’s choice to focus on bold prints and colours was risky but it shifts the perception of the range more towards fast fashion than discount basics. In addition, the products are designed to maintain margins at low prices and fit in with the existing supply chain.

“Esmara might not be a threat to the clothing market now, but it will change consumer perception of discount clothing and taps into a niche which has been neglected so far.”

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