Clothing and footwear has reinforced its position in town centres

Clothing and footwear has reinforced its position in town centres

The presence of clothing and footwear stores on the UK high street is growing, according to a new study, reinforcing their position as a key retail category.

A report by The University of Southampton: ‘High Street Performance and Evolution', shows that clothing and footwear has reinforced its position in town centres, increasing sales from 20.5% in 2007 to 25.4% in 2013.

In addition, in the non-food sector, the report reveals that independent retailers are increasing in number relative to corporates (+2% and -5.2% respectively between 2011-2013). Indeed, the British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) reported in April that seven out of ten independent retailers were confident in the trading year ahead of them, the highest level since the recession.

Around 56% of BIRA members reported higher sales for the first three months of 2014 than in the matching quarter of 2013. Businesses including clothing and footwear stores have all reported growth.

The research also forecasts that the continuing rise of online retailing will be good for the high street, with 70% of consumers expected to prefer using click & collect services.

The growth of this service is pushing people back to stores, suggesting that town centres can be supported by online commerce.

Click here to view the full report.