Fashion best-performing retail category
Figures released today indicate “record growth” for fashion.
Fashion sales for the month of March are up in direct comparison with March 2013, according to figures released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Online sales of non-food products grew by 12.8 per cent, with much of this growth attributed to fashion sales drive by the early arrival of spring temperatures.
“These sales figures are stronger than what might have been expected, given the fact that Easter has fallen so late this year,” says BRC director general Helen Dickinson. “Fashion has performed particularly well; retailers have worked hard to create popular new collections, and have been rewarded with strong demand for women’s clothing and footwear in particular. This improves on the slow start to the season last year, when shoppers were more reluctant to spruce up their wardrobes.”
Despite the boost provided by apparel sales, overall retail sales were down by 1.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis from March 2013. The most likely reason for the fall in sales is the late arrival of the Easter bank holiday weekend, which has impacted on the home and garden sector in particular.
“Putting Easter distortions aside, the overall picture looks encouraging,” says David McCorquodale, head of retail at industry analyst KPMG. “The long-term trend shows that sales are moving in a positive direction and sales of clothing and footwear fared well this month, helped by favourable weather. This is a very different picture to last year, when cold weather depressed sales and fashion retailers had a dismal month.”