14 September 2015
Retailers across the apparel industry are looking ahead to a strong autumn following a ‘lacklustre’ final month of summer trading.
Following the news that August footfall onto high streets and into shopping centres was 1.6 per cent lower than the same period last year, retailers are looking to newly-arriving autumnal collections to provide a much-needed boost to sales.
"The continued decline in footfall into shopping centres and on the high street is disappointing, but not surprising,” says Helen Dickinson, director general at industry body the Retail Consortium. “It is however worth noting that these figures do not take into account the last two days of August - the Sunday and Bank holiday Monday - which will, hopefully, add some cheer to the numbers in September."
Fellow industry analyst Diane Wherle agrees that the lull in sales throughout the summer months does not necessarily indicate similarly poor sales throughout the rest of the year. “This is likely to be just a short-term hiatus,” says the marketing and insights director at industry analyst Springboard. “We expect that the footfall throughout September will bounce back from decrease this August to at least equal the more modest 0.9 per cent drop recorded in September 2014.”
For fashion in particular, a cool summer and flat sales could in fact boost autumn sales figures as consumers welcome the opportunity to inject much-needed inspiration and style into their wardrobes. Data and SEO analyst Inside Online has reported that – within the womenswear sector – online searches for ankle boots tipped 40,500 throughout the month of August equalling the searches for ‘summer dresses’, indicating that consumers are more than ready to embrace the new winter season.
Pictured: A highlight from Lily & Me’s a/w 15 collection