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High street price increases slow fashion sales

Shoppers are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends due to increases in clothing prices, according to research.

The latest retail figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that sales growth in the fashion sector stood at just 1% over the past 12 weeks. The research also shows that average prices have risen 6% over the same period meaning that sales volumes have dipped.

“The number of fashion items sold across the whole sector has not increased year-on-year since January 2009, the same month that the UK entered recession,” said Ian Mitchell insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“The economic downturn has certainly affected shoppers’ behaviour – fashion items are more expensive than they used to be so people can no longer afford to go on big shopping sprees and are buying less.”

According to the research independent fashion retailers have been particularly hard hit with a 0.6% drop in market share taking their overall presence in the market to just 3.6%.

“The online fashion market continues to grow at a healthy 8% but this is significantly slower than the 26% we saw in the same period last year.  2011 growth is driven by the high-profile launches of several high street brands online; however it’s likely that online growth will stall even further once they are fully established,” added Mitchell.


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