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Fashion market suffers steepest decline in seven years

The British fashion market has experienced its steepest decline since 2009, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

High street

High street

The market has seen four months of consecutive sales decline. Almost £700m has been wiped from its value since this time last year.

Glen Tooke, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said discounting and a lack of investment have contributed to the drop: “Fashion retailers are still following the same patterns of over-buying and deep discounting and consumers are increasingly reluctant to pay full price.

“Retailers have responded to falling sales by investing less in their lines, when what they need to be doing instead is addressing these problems more proactively.”

He added: “Rather than chasing after the same micro trends as every one of their competitors, retailers need to work on understanding what their customers really want and to fulfil their needs. They need to ensure that stock availability is as high as it can be – online and offline – and that the shopping experience is based on what the customer actually wants, not what the retailer thinks they should experience.”

The value of the fashion industry contracted for the first time in six years in June, falling by 0.1%.

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