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GfK to challenge TNS and BRC with fashion monitor

GfK, the world's fourth largest research agency, is to launch a free monthly fashion sales performance monitor to rival Taylor Nelson Sofres' FashionTrak.

The monthly report will be based on sales data sent directly from multiple retailers' EPoS systems each week. As well as a monthly top-line sales report, GfK will provide a breakdown of sales by price and product category. These will include everything from vest tops to jeans, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and waistcoats.

GfK will go head to head with TNS's FashionTrak service and the British Retail Consortium's quarterly sales tracker, both of which have traditionally been the chosen barometer of fashion sales for clothing retailers.

GfK account director for fashion Kerry Corke said: "Our data will be totally robust because it is based on actual sales from retailers. We won't rely on consumers remembering where they have shopped and what they have bought, and we will provide monthly data three weeks after the period ends."

GfK already produces similar monthly reports for the consumer goods sectors. Several supermarkets, department stores, variety stores and mail-order companies that already use the consumer goods service have signed up to the fashion monitor. However, GfK is hoping high street fashion retailers will sign up. Any retailer that uploads sales data confidentially each week will get the monthly fashion sales report for free.

Retailers will also be able to buy and commission specific reports. This could include a breakdown of sales by brand or trend.

GfK will make its first fashion report, on schoolwear sales data, available later this month. The first monthly fashion report will be published in October.

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