Drapers has launched its second annual discounting survey to uncover whether the industry has really taken a stand on constantly lowering prices.
In 2016, we asked the fashion retail industry for its views on discounting. Concerns that the high street was rapidly approaching crisis point in an increasingly tough market prompted many of you to get in touch, arguing the vicious cycle of deep discounting was to blame.
The resulting survey into what was driving the discounting culture found 32.2% of brands and retailers felt compelled to lower prices to keep up with competitors. Although lowering prices will always be part and parcel of retail, some respondents said the market was being devalued.
One year on, we want to know what’s changed.
A number of high-profile retailers, including New Look, Jack Wills and Matalan, have been vocal about focusing on full-price sales and cutting back on discounting. Fat Face has also taken a stand, choosing not to slash prices in the run up to Christmas 2016 to reassure customers they wouldn’t buy an item, only to see it heavily reduced a few weeks later.
Yet, while there have been some strong statements from retailers, the high street is still often awash with Sales signs.
So is the tide starting to turn? Has the industry started to wean itself off the discounting drug, or are fashion retailers still relying on reactively lowering prices to desperately drive demand?
This week, we are launching our second annual discounting survey to find out what, if anything, has changed. We want to know if fashion brands and retailers are feeling more or less pressure to discount, if pricing strategies have changed and whether economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote has had an impact.
The survey will be completely anonymous and the results will be published as part of an investigation into discounting in an upcoming issue of Drapers.
If you work for a retailer or brand, you can take the survey by clicking here. The deadline is 22 September.