Multiples and etailers have already launched discounts on new season product in a bid to urge shoppers to spend more money.
On the high street last week Dorothy Perkins was offering 25% off all new season product, Warehouse was offering a 15% off new season discount code and New Look had up to 50% off all boots.
Meanwhile pureplay retailers were also discounting spring stock as Boohoo ran a 30% off partywear and kidswear promotion and Missguided had 25% off dresses.
Anusha Couttigane, senior analyst at Kantar Retail, said retailers are probably reacting to the cold, damp weather which has been keeping shoppers away from stores. Footfall figures across high streets, shopping centres and retail parks in the UK for the week to 28 January fell 2.4% compared to the same week last year.
“If the weather isn’t great and footfall drops, retailers will run promotions online to tempt shoppers to spend. By sending out targeted promotions - like 30% off knitwear - they are trying to boost dampened sales.”
Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman said the number of fashion retailers on Sale last week had jumped year on year, according to his research.
In the fourth week of January 2016, 69% of fashion retailers were on Sale, this year that increased to 81%.
Hyman said: “A lot of retailers were bullish in their Christmas trading updates but I would take that with a large pinch of salt as if trade was so great why would they launch new season Sales in January? It doesn’t add up.
“I feel it is a symptom of the market tightening and although it is early to say, 2017 will be considerably harder than last year.”