LONDON Oct 17 Britain's fashion market has
suffered its steepest decline in sales since 2009 as consumers
increasingly spend their money elsewhere, according to industry
data published on Monday.
Retail industry executives including Next's chief
executive, Simon Wolfson, reckon there has been a cyclical move
away from spending on clothing back into areas that suffered the
most during the economic downturn, such as eating out and
Researcher Kantar Worldpanel said data for the year to Sept.
25 showed that UK fashion has seen four months of consecutive
sales decline, with nearly 700 million pounds ($870 million)
lost from the value of the market from this time last year.
It said June's decline of 0.1 percent was the first monthly
contraction in six years.
"Fashion retailers are still following the same patterns of
over-buying and deep discounting and consumers are increasingly
reluctant to pay full price," said Glen Tooke, consumer insight
director at Kantar Worldpanel.
"Most recently the decline has been driven by falling
frequencies of buying, giving retailers fewer opportunities to
encourage shoppers to part with their cash."
Earlier this month a survey from BDO, the accountancy and
business advisory firm, said Britain's fashion retailers
suffered a slump in sales in September as unseasonably warm
weather deterred sales of autumn and winter collections.
($1 = 0.8042 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Greg Mahlich)