Blog: Leonie BarrieBrits bag a bargain

Leonie Barrie | 1 February 2008

If you can't resist a ‘buy one get one free’ T-shirt offer, or the latest must-have fashions for less than a tenner, then you are not alone.

Research by Mintel finds that Brits can't get enough of a good deal, with 70% saying they love a bargain, and 30% wanting to pay as little as possible for their clothes.

But wait a minute, just a couple of months ago another piece of research suggested that the value sector was facing its first signs of a slowdown. Value alone is no longer a selling point, we were told, and low prices across the clothing sector as a whole mean that retailers must look beyond low prices to inspire people to buy.

Some retailers are moving into new markets overseas, while others are improving their store environments and tapping into fast fashion and better design.

And perhaps not surprisingly, others too are jumping into the void that now appears to exist between low cost at one end of the market and high priced designer brands at the other. The appointment this week of former Topshop brand director Jane Shepherdson as the new CEO of the upmarket Whistles chain is seen as marking a sea-change in the high street for better-quality, less faddy, more expensive clothes.

And there’s a trend already forming. H&M has seen huge success with its COS concept, and in March, Banana Republic, the American label owned by Gap Inc, is set to open its first European outpost in London.


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