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March 10, 2021

Lockdown exit news boosts UK online clothing sales

By Beth Wright

Online clothing sales continued their upward trajectory in February as the UK Government announced a roadmap out of lockdown and consumers were given increased reasons to refresh their wardrobes.

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The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

After a tough 2020, clothing sales continued January’s upward trend with 21.3% growth year-on-year in February. Footwear – the subcategory worst hit by the pandemic – also reported growth of 8%. In the week of the announcement, this rose to 46.7% as consumers looked forward to stepping back into normality, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

Though not quite at January’s record-breaking levels of 74% growth, overall online retail sales in February continued to show strong growth, climbing by 69.5% year-on-year, still significantly higher than the rolling averages of three, six, and 12 months (+57.1% +42.5% and +42.7%, year-on-year, respectively).

“February growth remains strong as we near a full year since the pandemic closed the high street for the first time. Online growth has been highest in this third national lockdown, however, as we approach the year-on-year comparisons against the swings of 2020 we are likely to see some interesting metrics play out over the next few months,” Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant at Retail Insight, Capgemini, notes.

“For example, electricals and home and garden, up 158% and 131% in February, have seen unprecedented growth figures since the pandemic began. This will mean that even if there is continued strong demand in these categories, we are likely to see swings to the negative compared to last year. 

“On the positive side of things, pent-up demand will benefit sectors such as clothing where spending has been low throughout the pandemic. Increased reasons to refresh wardrobes and social events making their way back onto the calendar will also provide a much-needed boost and hopefully a strong performance for 2021. We are already starting to see revival in this category; the change in season and the lockdown easing roadmap has put a spring in the step for clothing and footwear sales this month.”

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Free Whitepaper
img

What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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