Interview Synopsis

UK online fast fashion retail – growth sustainability post-coronavirus

  • Public Equity
  • Consumer
  • Europe

The UK's fast fashion industry remains buoyant after a bumper 2020, with most companies likely trading 20-30% up versus 2019, a divisional leader at Missguided Ltd told Forum in an Interview. Consumers flocked online during COVID-19 lockdowns and many have continued to spend money this way - to the detriment of high street stores.

Buoyant but “very competitive” online fast fashion market

The Interview also looked at why some brands, such as Asos, reported a slowdown in top-line sales towards the end of June 2021. “What we’ve seen is a peak in demand a lot earlier this year for summer products than we did last year or in any normal year, and because that demand has come sooner in the year… those sales are tailing off sooner,” the specialist explained. The unpredictable weather in the UK this year has also impacted sales, they added.

Although more “going-out” products have been sold in recent months, lifting overall sales, summer holiday products have struggled because of the various – and continuously changing – travel rules and regulations. However, with the festive season fast approaching, sales are expected to remain strong throughout the remainder of 2021. “We’re actually hoping for a continued growth really going into autumn/winter and capitalising on the party sales that we really would have missed last year,” the specialist said.

Regarding the competitive landscape, Asos and Boohoo stand out as market winners, according to the expert, but could be threatened by Shein, given its aggressive marketing and promotional activities, and broad product offering. “I think they do pose a threat, but I also think they pose a threat not just to online fast fashion retailers, but to many other retailers on the high street, the likes of Primark, for example, New Look, the traditional high-street retailers as well.” Although Shein’s market share is relatively small, it’s “growing quite quickly”. 

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s UK online fast fashion retail – growth sustainability post-coronavirus Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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