Discounts surge in June, but interest in high street shopping also up - report
UK fashion retailers have been trying to get ahead of Amazon as the e-tail giant plans its fashion-focused Biggest Sale in the Sky that kicks off on June 22, new data has shown.
Sales aggregator site LovetheSales.com has been diving deep into UK shoppers’ online habits during the lockdown in recent months and its latest report says that “some of the UK’s biggest fashion retailers have attempted to beat Amazon to the punch by offering striking deals of their own before the big sale”. In fact, the number of online fashion discounts has increased in June and is currently up 13% year-on-year”.
Of course, there would also be a natural move towards discounting at this point in the seasonal cycle, and especially after such a devastating period in which little has been sold. But anything Amazon does clearly has a big impact.
LovetheSales co-founder Stuart McClure said: “Amazon has been trying to make waves in the fashion industry for the last couple of years now. With news that the coveted Prime Day is being pushed back to September, Amazon has instead put on a summer fashion sale exclusively for Prime members. This has ruffled many UK retailers’ feathers, who see Amazon as a big threat to online sales, especially during this exceptionally challenging time. And whilst many retailers already have large discounts on (to clear excess inventory), many have supersized them in an attempt to siphon off customers from the Biggest Sale in the Sky event.”
Fashion retailers deepening their discounts in June compared to May include Ted Baker, which has 46% more markdowns and is offering shoppers up to 50% off women’s, men’s and kids' fashion in its end-of-season sale. River Island also has 28% more discounts; John Lewis has 26% more discounts and up to 70% off some premium brands; Topshop and Topman have 24% more discounts; and Superdry has 22% more markdowns in June than in May.
HIGH STREET RESURGENCE
Meanwhile, LovetheSales also said that with non-essential stores reopening, “the buzz around the high street has spilled over to online shopping with searches for high street brands up 16% year-on-year”. Sales for high street clothing had suffered online throughout lockdown, but the recovery seems to have started.
And although fashion searches for both luxury and premium brands have remained fairly flat, actual demand for luxury fashion has risen by 5% year-on-year in June, with demand for premium brands increasing by 2% over the same period.
AMANDA HOLDEN EFFECT
The company has also been tracking the impact of some key influencers with the Duchess of Cambridge and Holly Willoughby both able to guarantee sell-out status for whatever they’re seen wearing during lockdown. LovetheSales said Britain’s Got Talent judge and Heart radio host Amanda Holden has also made an impact on her 1.5 million Instagram followers in recent months.
The River island floral maxi dress she wore in May sold out quickly and also saw a 41% rise in demand for floral dresses. Another dress she wore in May, a denim piece from Very’s Michelle Keegan line, helped drive denim dress searches up by 47%.
In the same month, a Melissa Odabash Agata dress drove searches for red stripe dresses 49% higher and a Forever Unique halter-neck dress sent searches for pink dresses 61% higher.
This month, a Zara pink pleated dress spurred a 78% increase in demand for pleated dresses and also saw the particular Zara piece selling out.
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