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The festive season looks bleak for thousands of retail workers facing redundancy, many of whom are turning to charity for help.
Drapers asks industry leaders what the next government needs to do for business and measures how the parties’ pledges stand up.
The administrations of Mothercare UK and Mamas & Papas last week expose their failure to meet the demands of new parents in a changing market.
Chief executive Peter Wood’s dogged focus on product, marketing and distribution has helped get struggling AllSaints’ operating profit back in the black. But is the new strategy sound enough to withstand future headwinds?
Boohoo and Missguided ads have been banned for being “highly sexualised” and not “socially responsible”, prompting questions about the imagery and messaging fast fashion uses to sell product to young shoppers.
Profits have fallen at Asos. How can the etailer overcome its challenges to ensure sustainable growth?
As the reality of a no-deal Brexit nears, retailers face increased costs as a result of import tariffs on clothing and weaker sterling. The question is: who pays?
Independent retailer CoLab is gaining traction on Bristol’s high street for its community-driven business model – not least as the winner of Drapers’ Independents Community Award 2019.
Retail property companies are dumping assets as they seek to reduce their exposure to the sector, and councils are stepping in to buy them and taking on the risk and cost of developing them.
Drapers’ survey shows independent businesses are currently battling to survive amid high street headwinds, with more than a quarter reporting they are not profitable. It found that the survival of the independent sector will require significant action from local councils and wider government.
Businesses offering consumers ways to care for or lengthen the life of their clothing are booming. Drapers speaks to four growing businesses to find out about why the aftercare sector is on the up.
Black Friday has become a fixture on the fashion retail industry’s promotional calendar. But as the discounting activity becomes longer and deeper, and some retailers and consumers shun the event altogether, its future has become blurred.
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The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again. I have lost count of how many times I have heard this expression used in relation to fashion retail in 2019.
Unlike other retail sectors, the nature of fashion makes a robot takeover impossible, argues Victoria Nightingale, retail and consumer partner at executive search firm Bailey Montagu.
As Black Friday has mutated from a one-day event into a fortnight of deals, more and more fashion retailers have fallen down the rabbit hole of heavy discounting in the weeks before Christmas.
As the spectre of another general election looms – the second in just over two years – this week we ask the fashion retail industry what policies they think the next government should prioritise.
Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day discounting event dwarfs Black Friday in terms of sales, and provides an important opportunity for British brands to break into the lucrative Chinese market.
Ahead of Small Business Saturday on 7 December, Hilary Cookson, Lifetime Achievement winner at the Drapers Independents Awards 2019, says collaborating with neighbouring retailers is vital
The first of this year’s Christmas adverts were unwrapped this week, but the festive cheer failed to mask an underlying anxiety as we wait to see how the Black-Friday-to-Boxing-Day period plays out.
As the clocks went back and the temperature dropped last weekend, I headed to my local retail park to buy a new duvet for my son. I left disappointed – finding nowhere that sold a decent selection of children’s bedding – and caught myself wishing there was a Mothercare nearby.
Much like the weather, Brexit has become a somewhat convenient excuse for struggling retailers to explain away weak sales. But in the case of Bonmarché, it was the final nail in the coffin.
Julie Schroer, senior creative manager at London womenswear independent Blaiz, Best Visual Merchandising and Store Design winner at the Drapers Independents Awards 2019, explains its award-winning approach.
Changing shopping behaviours continue to rip through the fashion industry at speed, bringing both challenges and opportunities for retailers.
A hard Brexit could be “catastrophic” for the fashion industry, writes Cécile Reinaud, founder and president of maternitywear brand Seraphine.
British fashion retail has been dealt a double dose of bad news in recent days.
It was a sad moment walking past the closing Karen Millen store on the corner of Regent Street and Princes Street in central London last week.
Retail has never been this fast and it will never be this slow again, writes Andrew Jennings, senior retail executive, author of Almost Is Not Good Enough and former boss of House of Fraser, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods.
The high-stress world of fast fashion was laid bare last week in the first episode of a six-part BBC Three documentary on womenswear etailer In The Style.
Sustainable innovations and Brexit were the top talking points at the autumn 20 edition of Paris textiles trade show Première Vision, as fabrics veered towards the dark and shimmering.
International buyers flock to London’s womenswear designers for a balance between creativity and commerciality.
When Radley was bought by private equity firm Bregal Freshstream in 2016, the business was well-established in the UK, but under-represented internationally, writes CEO Justin Stead.
Yet again we find ourselves in the strange position of celebrating London as an international stage for British design talent, less than two months before the UK leaves the European Union.
New skills and collaboration are vital for fashion SMEs, writes Judith Tolley, head of creative business incubator the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, as it opens its new business hub
Judging for the Drapers Independents Awards is always a lively debate, and one that reassures me that it’s not all doom and gloom on the high street – there is so much innovation and success to celebrate.
Widespread discounting on autumn stock before the summer has even come to an end has, worryingly, become common practice for many UK fashion retailers – and has potentially damaging implications.
Creative and technical skills are vital for a thriving UK fashion and textiles industry, but skills shortages and risks to the talent pipeline are among the most urgent challenges facing the sector, writes John West, director of skills and training at the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT).
Agility, courage and determination will let businesses prosper after Brexit, despite the challenges, writes Lucy Reece-Raybould, CEO of the British Footwear Association.
Consumers are embracing online shopping, which requires fashion retailers to invest heavily in developing ecommerce – but an increasing number are questioning the return on that investment.
When I joined Drapers in June 2005, I could not have imagined the challenges and opportunities the next 14 years would bring.
Brands and retailers need to widen their view and delight their customers to remain successful, writes Gerard Levy, owner of independent footwear retailer Spice London and footwear agency Gil Agencies.
This week Drapers celebrates an incredible 132 years. Looking back at the industry over that time there have been huge changes and challenges to overcome but there has also been plenty to celebrate.
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has acquired lifestyle retailer Jack Wills for £12.8m. What will it take to revive the flagging business?
To say it has been a turbulent week for Sports Direct Group is an understatement.
In the sweltering heat of one of London’s hottest days of the year, the spring 20 edition of menswear trade show Jacket Required was judged by exhibitors and buyers alike to be relatively quiet.
Consumer confidence is low, the high street is in the midst of one of its most challenging periods yet, Brexit is imminent, and the UK has a new prime minister, Boris Johnson.
The spring 20 editions of UK trade shows Pure London and Scoop, which ran concurrently in London on 21-23 July, got off to a sunny yet slow start on Sunday, although both shows picked up across the three days.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the high street is not dead.
In the wake of Asos’s second profit warning in seven months, Stephen Springham, head of retail research at property consultancy Knight Frank argues that ecommerce is not a golden ticket to success.
It’s summer’s dress sensation – but why has Zara’s polka-dot maxi-dress taken the high street by storm?
The industry is saddened this week by the loss of retail stalwart, Arthur Ryan, who has died aged 83. My thoughts go to all of his family, friends and colleagues.
Lately, not a week goes by without the mention of a CVA and this week is no exception – the latest being high street footwear staple Office, which has appointed restructuring advisers to assess its financial position amid “tough trading conditions”.
When market conditions are tough, it is never more important to take time to celebrate the achievements, innovations and businesses pushing forward through turbulent waters.
Company voluntary arrangements must be bound by stricter rules, says Ed Cooke, chief executive of commercial property body Revo.
The fashion industry contributes more than £32 billion to the UK economy, yet, once again, calls for support from the government have gone unheeded.
As the sun set over the plush Florentine hills, the Pitti crowds made their way to the luxurious Villa Palmieri for British designer Clare Waight Keller’s first standalone menswear show at the helm of French fashion house Givenchy.
Large retailers entering into CVAs can have an unfair and heavy impact on independent retailers, says Martin Brighty, owner of central London menswear independent Peckham Rye.
The incoming chairman of John Lewis Partnership is certainly a leftfield choice.
The spring 20 edition of London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM), which took place on 7-10 June, officially kicked off the new menswear buying season with a strong and steady edition that focused the spotlight on fashion’s future.
Product will always sit at the heart of any fashion business. As we move into June and the new buying season kicks off with London Fashion Week Mens and menswear trade show Pitti Uomo in Florence, retailers will be looking at how their new-season collections can offer something unique to drive customers in store and online.
Sales director at independent fashion and distribution agency MDA International, Hannah Jordan, explains why the company chooses to work with independent brands that do not have an online presence.
Asos is one of many retailers that admits it has tightened its returns policy, as figures reveal that 26% of brands have recorded an increase in returns over the last two years.
A new report from New West End Company and Springwise considers the shape of retail in the next decade. Drapers brought together retailers to debate how the industry can redefine itself.
Our new report lists the founders challenging the status quo.
Our new report, Growth in a Changing Economy, explores how fashion brands and retailers can achieve growth in an uncertain climate.
Our new portal focuses on answering the questions brands and retailers want answered.
The Connected Consumer – Drapers’ multichannel customer insight report – shines a light on how fashion shoppers are using mobile, social and store shopping.
Drapers has collaborated with Raconteur on a new report, the Fashion Economy, published in The Times today.
Our webcast explored how brands are using analytics and automation to increase profit.
Between them, Generation Z and millennials – broadly, shoppers in their late teens, twenties and thirties – attract endless attention, and represent fashion’s consumers of both the present and future.
It’s not just a buzzword – artificial intelligence is changing how retailers do business in tangible ways. In our new report, we speak to some of the retailers using the technology about how AI is changing things for them.
Drapers’ multichannel trends report explores the most important trends in cross channel retail this year. Download it here for interviews with River Island, M&S, Mango and more.
Until recently, technology and fashion and may not have seemed natural bedfellows, and yet today, from design to marketing, from production to distribution, technology is influencing every facet of our industry.
Drapers, in partnership with Ebay, provides a quarterly snapshot of data on online fashion retail’s KPIs and trends.
Drapers’ multichannel breakfast will explore how the cross-channel mix is evolving in fashion in 2019.
Drapers’ webinar explores key lessons and insights from Christmas 2018.
How customer reviews are changing fashion, and our step by step guide to making the most of them.
Most of the visitors to a retailer’s website are anonymous. How can the experience be tailored to them without knowing who they are?
As sustainability - and squeezed margins - continue to put pressure on retailers to improve management of excess stock, off-price fashion has become a hot topic. Drapers’ new report explores its opportunities.
What does the ideal digital customer experience look like today, and who are the retailers leading the way?
Join us for a live briefing on what makes a great digital experience, and hear who’s getting it right.
Retailers are starting to learn more about their shoppers based on their online behaviour - something that is becoming more important in a post-GDPR world.
Our new report pinpoints the parts of the customer journey that technology is improving.
Sustainability in fashion is the hot topic of the moment, and was the subject of discussion at Drapers’ latest roundtable.
The 2018 retail peak is nearly upon us, and mobile will be playing a more important role than ever.
How are retailers’ email strategies evolving?
Our annual survey of fashion shoppers provides in-depth insight into what shoppers want in a multichannel retail world.
The Drapers Ecommerce Snapshot gives a comprehensive overview of fashion’s digital performance over the last quarter.
The single customer view is at the forefront of retailers’ minds, but GDPR and continuing customer concerns about privacy mean it is no easy win
Fashion retailers gathered at the Soho Hotel in June to discuss how 3D fashion is changing the industry.
In partnership with Instagram, Drapers explores the platform’s range of recent new tools - including the launch of IGTV last month - and how they are boosting consumer engagement.
Fashion is one of the world’s most polluting industries.