Coronavirus to wipe out 20% of UK fashion spend
Written by Peter Walker
The UK clothing and footwear sector will bear the brunt of the COVID-19 impact on retail, with 2020 sales down £11.1 billion on 2019, according to preliminary forecasts by GlobalData.
Fashion retailers made up the majority of the High Street stores that closed down ahead of government restrictions earlier this week, with several admitting that buying new clothes and footwear was far from a top priority for consumers, wiping out sales of spring and summer collections.
Kate Ormrod, lead retail analyst at GlobalData, explained that though retailers are already striving to entice spending - with discounting and promotions rife and loungewear at the forefront of marketing campaigns - perceived supermarket shortages ensure food shopping remains top of mind. "As we enter April - our expected peak of the pandemic - and approach Easter, it is likely some consumers will want to treat themselves, especially if a lockdown extension is mooted.”
The market analysis firm suggested that fashion retailers exploit the online channel and social media to keep shoppers engaged.
“With the likes of M&S, Moss Bros, N Brown and Superdry having already issued profit warnings, Coronavirus’ impact has been swift," said Ormrod. "Significant fallout across the fashion sector is expected this year as fundamentally weaker players fail to recover once demand finally picks up in the second half.”