Blog: Verdict on value
Leonie Barrie | 26 October 2007
Have the UK’s value clothing retailers become victims of their own success? Over the past decade, the sector has consistently outperformed the total clothing market – and currently accounts for nearly 25% of all clothing expenditure in the UK according to new research published today.
However, the sector is also facing its first signs of a slowdown. Value alone is no longer a selling point, and low prices are now a given across the clothing sector as middle market retailers like Next and M&S have sharpened their own acts in response to the growing competition.
There’s no doubt Primark in particular has raised the bar. Poised to take the top slot in the value sector, the retailer’s success has not just been due to its sizeable space expansion (an extra 2.5m sq ft of sales space in the UK since 2002) but because of its winning proposition – a combination of low prices and fast fashion in high quality, contemporary stores in prime locations.
As the value clothing sector matures and growth decelerates, it’s clear that retailers must look beyond low prices to sustain growth and profitability. As they reach both space and demand capacity in the UK, international growth is an obvious route. Take a look at the top five value retailers – Primark, George, Tesco, New Look and TK Maxx. They've already made moves onto the continent.
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