Consumer concerns over the economy, the impact of Brexit on importing costs and overstock issues could weigh on the UK womenswear market over the next 12 months, new research by WGSN has found.
An analysis of the UK market taking data from 55 UK retailers between 1 January and 30 June 2018 found that although consumers felt more positive about their own finances, wider economic concerns could lead to reduced spending on non-essential clothing and footwear.
The figures also showed that overall volumes of new and old stock continue to increase by 6% year-on-year, which has led to excess stock in the market.
The abundance of product has been reflected in rising markdown levels across clothing, footwear and accessories as retailers attempted to resuscitate demand.
According to the report, footwear in particular has been hit by poor weather, with markdowns on new products increasing by 41% year-on-year. WGSN also noted that signs had grown of a saturation in the sports shoes market.
The report noted: “Retailers have a lot to learn from the online pureplays when battling this [overstock]. Asos and Boohoo reduced the volume of new products this year, aligning with their core customer needs’ operating a test-and-repeat type model.
“Injecting smaller but better ranges like this will diminish the risk of overstock by providing room to experiment without big investments.”
The report concludes that capitalising on social marketing, balancing assortments to clear a saturated market, reducing markdowns and promoting inclusivity - with ranges reflecting a diverse audience, can help boost retailers prospects in the coming season.