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Fashion market to grow for fourth successive month

The fashion market is expected to have recorded a 4% rise in December - the fourth consecutive month of volume growth in a row, and the longest period since January 2009.

According to Kantar Worldpanel strategic insight director Ian Mitchell, the fashion market is “on a surer footing” than this time last year, thanks to a drop in inflation and less heavy discounting on the high street.

The three months to the end of November have already seen the longest period of volume growth in four years, with sales of clothing and footwear up 2% in September, and 3% in both October and November. Early indications are that figures for December - expected to be published next week - will replicate this, with value growing marginally ahead at 4%. Mitchell said this gave the sector “slightly more confidence about 2013”.

After a Christmas in which ecommerce dominated, the year ahead is likely to see the digital channel become even more normalised, with Mitchell predicting 100% of consumers would use it for some fashion purchases in the near future.

However, he expects its contribution to total fashion expenditure to peak at 20%, with consumers merely adding ecommerce to their “repertoire” of potential destinations.

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