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Supermarkets out in front while spend at indies slips

Consumer spend at fashion independents is at its lowest in four years, with supermarkets now claiming a bigger share of the market.

About £1.1 billion was spent in clothing and footwear indies for the 24 weeks to May 27, according to research firm TNS Worldpanel Fashion. Spend has fallen 15% since May 2004, with all categories taking a hit. Kidswear reached a low of £81.3 million for the period.

Supermarkets overtook indies for the quarter, boosting their share of spend by 21% to £540.3m, while indies' share fell 10% to £532.9m. Overall sales across the market were up, with womenswear and kidswear hitting £4bn and £1bn respectively.

TNS executive Elaine Giles said the buoyancy in the fashion market generally was a result of the early summer and warm weather in April, but that the latest spending figures did not yet take into account the poor June weather.

She added: "Supermarkets slipped ahead of independents briefly in early April, but this shows that there will be an ongoing tussle between the two sectors for dominance of the market."

In the kids' market indies attracted just £41.1m over the 12 weeks, compared with spend of £153.3m at supermarkets.

In menswear, indies held their lead over supermarkets, with spend of £206.5m compared with the latter's £117.4m. But indies' menswear spend is down 16% on last year, against 23% growth in men's spend in supermarkets.

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