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Fashion industry growth outstrips that of wider UK economy

Growth in the fashion industry has outstripped that of the wider UK economy by 7% in recent years, while last summer saw the fastest rate of volume growth in more than five years, according to research by Kantar Worldpanel.

The fashion market grew by 15% between 2004 and 2013, while the UK economy as a whole grew by 8% during the same period.

The sector grew by 3% to £35.3bn in the year to August 31, 2014, and the summer saw volume growth of 2% - the fastest increase recorded in more than five years - as consumer confidence improved.

Ian Mitchell, head of fashion at Kantar Worldpanel, told Drapers: “Last year we saw consumer confidence rise a little. This has been reflected by the tentative volume growth in the fashion market – the most significant rise in over five years. Consumers are feeling comfortable putting more items in their baskets in spite of steady price inflation, which, until the recent warm autumn, led to expenditure growing at its fastest rate since 2010.”

Discounts and promotions accounted for a third of fashion items bought in the year to August 31, while one fifth of spend is now online, representing £6.8bn.

Click-and-collect sales grew by 47% in the year, making it now worth more than £1bn in sales. Online grew 16% in the same period.

Mitchell added: “During 2014 the popularity of click-and-collect in the fashion market has surged. We expect this trend to continue in 2015 with the quickening of delivery speeds and diversifying of pick up locations. The retailers who can offer the best of these types of services are the ones who will benefit the most from improved customer confidence over the coming year.”

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