Clothing sales battle is set to intensify
Monday 08 March 1999
The study by Verdict, the retail consultants, says retailers in the saturated middle market will find the going increasingly tough as greater competition makes sales growth hard to achieve. But it reckons that Marks & Spencer, one of the biggest casualties of last year's retail slowdown, will be able to recover.
Verdict says the UK clothing market grew by just 1 per cent last year to pounds 27bn, the lowest growth rate of the 1990s. Adjusting for the addition of new floor space, Verdict says comparable sales were actually down by 1.5 per cent, precipitated by the poor autumn.
According to Verdict, M&S saw its market share fell from 13.4 per cent to 12.2 per cent in the year. The biggest gains were made by Next, New Look and Arcadia, whose formats include Dorothy Perkins and Principles.
However, the study says M&S will start to hit back at its rivals with a lower price policy. The biggest losers could be BhS, House of Fraser and C&A. Likely winners in the retail clothing race could include Oasis, Warehouse, Next, The Gap and Debenhams.
The report is upbeat on the prospects of a recovery at M&S. "M&S cannot be turned around overnight and 1999 will be a year of refocusing and returning to core values," it says. "The expanded floor space means that once the re-ranging and price repositioning processes are complete, improved performance will flow through quickly."
Verdict says some retailers only had themselves to blame for poor sales last year, with bland, unexciting merchandise. This year should be better, with more colourful ranges apparent in this spring's collections.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 3 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 4 World Cup 2014: Robin van Persie appears to give his bronze medal to eccentric Netherlands fan moments after being handed it by Sepp Blatter
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Death in the Valley of the Dolls: Heroin overdose turns the spotlight on prostitution boom in California's tech industry
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Woman, 61, jailed for seven years after drink-drive death of cyclist
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...