The UK’s fashion retail sector experienced the biggest decline in sales since 2009, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel.
In the year to September 25, clothing, footwear and accessories retail experienced four months of consecutive decline in sales.
According to Kantar, around £700 million was wiped from the fashion sector when compared to the same period the previous year.
“Fashion retailers are still following the same patterns of over-buying and deep discounting and consumers are increasingly reluctant to pay full price,” Kantar consumer insight director Glen Tooke said.
“Retailers have responded to falling sales by investing less in their lines, when what they need to be doing instead is addressing these problems more proactively.
“Rather than chasing after the same ‘micro trends’ as every one of their competitors, they need to work on understanding what their customers really want and to fulfil their needs.”
Kantar’s latest data does not factor in the collapse of BHS, which closed down at the end of August.
“The retailer was worth over £400 million in sales so if this spend isn’t reapportioned throughout the market then we’ll be seeing the decline continue,” Tooke said.