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Credit crunch hits summer sales

Clothing and footwear sales growth during the summer slowed to 3%, with most sectors losing market share.
Figures from research firm TNS Worldpanel Fashion showed that independent retailers and sports shops were the worst hit. Their market shares each fell 1.1% to 7.6% and 10% respectively for the 12 weeks to July 22 against the same period last year. Multiples, department stores and shoe shops were also hit by heavy discounting after many were forced into early summer Sales, the report found.

Value retailers, supermarkets and mail order businesses bucked the trend, growing their share by 1.1%, 0.6% and 0.6% respectively. This gave them shares of 11.4%, 7% and 7%.

But retailers have since reported a hike in sales for September. The BRC said UK like-for-like sales rose 3% last month, with clothing sales boosted by the cold weather. But it said consumer confidence continued to be hit by rising interest rates and wider credit crunch issues.

Separately, TNS’s report found that the maternitywear market was worth £110 million this year, and that non-specialist retailers account for 79% of maternity spend.

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