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Fashion sales robust but discounting at 'highest ever' levels, TNS reports

Good early summer weather helped fashion retailers notch up their best performance since last November.

Sales by clothing retailers in the 12-week rolling period to June 21 fell 2%, according to data from TNS Worldpanel Fashion, reported in the Daily Telegraph.

The decline was the lowest since the 12 weeks to November 2008. Womens’ and childrenswear performed well, underpinned by sales to the under-25 age group, who are among the most recession-proof shopper.

However, menswear sales fell 5% and a decline in the sportswear market impacted the figures.

In the 24 weeks to April, TNS said that the market hit its “highest ever” level of discounting. About 36% of all clothing items sold were reduced in price in some way.

TNS said: “Full-price sales declines have slowed but are not expected to return to growth in the near future as discounting looks set to continue throughout 2009.

“In particular, the flexibility of pricing in the websites and the rise in use of online vouchers has led to 42% of items bought online being at a reduced price and over a fifth of online shoppers only buying when they can get a discount.”

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