The Future of Fashion
Updated: May 21
In the past few years, there has been an increase in online shopping. According to Real Insight Network, more than half of the UK consumers are now shopping online and the online spend is forecast to increase to 29.6% between 2019 to 2024. Due to the increase in online spending, there has been a decrease in in-store shopping. The high street footfall in Scotland fell 2.8% in July 2019. (Williams, 2019) Thousands of high street jobs were lost in 2019 and retailers were under pressure from weak consumer spending.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, “the UK online retail sales rose by 22% in the first week of April, compared to the same time last year.” (Gilliland, 2020) The beauty sector saw nearly a 140% rise in the first week of April, and electronics rose by 90%. (Gilliland, 2020) The alcohol category saw a rise since lockdown. A brand called Naked Wine saw a £200 million rise in revenue for 2020 and is expected to invest between £20 million to £25 million on new customer recruitment. (Gilliland, 2020)
A few examples of stores that are closing - Waitrose is closing 7 supermarkets which puts nearly 700 jobs at risk. Debenhams confirmed the closure of 7 stores with the loss of 422 jobs. The cities in which the stores are closing for Debenhams are Truro, Stratford - upon - Avon, Westfield Shepherds Bush, Warrington, Leamington Spa and South Shields. (Wood, 2020)
I recently watched a podcast by the Business of Fashion about the Future of Retail. Doug Stephens, who was the spokesperson, mentioned a few businesses who are not selling much of their products, but are selling an experience. He gave an example of Sonos, the wireless speaker brand. They opened a 150sq ft listening pod in New York, where you listen to your favourite music and invite your friends so that you and your friends could hang out and have a listening experience in store. They also opened a community gathering point in London and Los Angeles where artists and musicians could get together and possibly create music. Another example was Toms Shoes wanting to have a place where people can bring their dogs, have a cup of coffee, do their work, hang out etc. i find this a great way to attract customers as people are very much drawn to experiences. Even if they do not buy a product, they will remember the time they spent experiencing something that was out of the ordinary.