Period covered: 03 April – 30 April 2022
Note: This report summary is one or two months behind the current month as standard reporting practice. The content is indicative only and incomplete with certain data undisclosed. Become a member to access this data or take out a free 30 day membership trial now.
Clothing & Footwear Sales
Clothing (+00%) and Footwear (+00%) sales outperformed in April, boosted by the return of social events and strong demand for Easter getaways.
Compared to April 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, Clothing sales were up 00% while Footwear was up 00%.
Despite cost-of-living pressures, fashion items remain in high demand, particular summer items and formalwear (e.g. return to office, weddings).
Shift away from free returns
Zara has become the latest major retailer to charge shoppers who return items bought online. Customers must pay £1.95 to return clothes, with the cost taken from their refund. Items bought online can still be returned for free in stores
Returns have always been a challenge for fashion brands, but this has been exacerbated by the rise in online shopping and ongoing supply chain pressures since the pandemic.
Retail Economics research found that nearly 00 (00%) of Gen Zs order multiple variations of clothing and footwear items online, beyond what they intend to keep.
Where a return in a shop can be processed quickly, online purchases must be returned via a courier, sent to a warehouse, unpacked, cleaned, and then put out for re-sale. This process is more costly and creates inventory backlogs causing clothes to miss their season.
But retailers must strike a careful balance with a return price that puts the customers off a return, without putting them off a purchase or sending them to a competitor.
Luxury and premium brands should prove resilient in an inflationary environment, while discounters and off-price outlets are well positioned to benefit from consumers looking for deals. Retailers and brands caught somewhere ‘in the middle’ may face the greatest challenges.
Retail Economics forecasts Clothing sales to grow by 00% YoY in 2022, reaching £00, and Footwear sales to rise by 00% YoY in 2022, reaching close to £00.
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Thinking about your non-essential shopping this year, what do you plan to do in response to the rising cost of living?
Source: Retail Economics Survey. Sample: 2,000.