Fashion retail occupies a large and vital part of the UK economy, but for the UK consumer, shopping has become a key leisure activity and an important part of peoples’ lives. More than a third of all UK consumer spending goes through retail businesses. And fashion is one of the key drivers for spending. The UK like most countries around the world, has had to adjust to the changing needs and buying habits of the consumer.
But where are the heritage brands positioned within a competitive market? Zara the Spanish brand part of Intidex is now more popular in the UK than Topshop, according to a new study based on Google searches. In 2016, the Spanish brand saw a 20.18 per cent rise in searches compared to the year before.It was followed by Missguided with its 11 per cent boost, then TK Maxx at 4.26 per cent. The findings came as part of Media Vision Interactive’s Fashion Demand Report. The brand that saw the largest increase in Google searches was the online retailer Pretty Little Thing, another fast fashion online retailer based in Manchester, where demand grew by an impressive 84 per cent.
Online retail businesses have begun emerging and setting new standards for others around the world to follow and the small, independent retailers have learnt how to survive by understanding their customers better than anyone else. With many shoppers swayed by speed and convenience, fast fashion and multi-brand online retailers seem to be ruling the roost.
Several Arcadia brands, Topshop included, saw a dip in searches and sales. Topshop slipped by 8 per cent in online demand, could this be due to the changing public perception of its boss Philip Green over the 2016 BHS scandal? Arcadia as a whole did not fare well in the study. Searches for Topman decreased by 17 per cent; at Miss Selfridge they fell by 25 per cent and Dorothy Perkins noted a similar drop of 20 per cent.
The high-street market is more saturated than ever, the most successful clothing and fashion retailers in the UK have either a unique product offering or value for money proposition combined with a consistency of brand message and excellent execution backed by a strong team of creatives.
UK fashion retail has already begun to emerge stronger from the shock of the last few years. Veteran commentators of international retailing point towards retailers in the UK as being some of the very best exponents of retailing in this new age of Fashion.