Fashion sales suffered in lockdown November says Barclaycard
November was another bad month for the fashion sector and for department store sales, according to new data issued by Barclaycard on Tuesday.
The payments specialist said that it had been a challenging month overall with consumer spending down 1.9% and the main bright spot being that spending on essentials grow 4.9%.
But department stores saw declines of 18% by value and 28.9% by volume, while clothing was down 13% by value and 22.1% by volume. These were the biggest drops in those categories since June when the first lockdown measures were still in place.
The word lockdown was the clue here as England was in lockdown for most of November, which meant non-essential stores were closed across the country and online retail, while it grew, wasn't able to completely fill the gap.
E-commerce sales rose 23% by volume and 34.6% by value, with general retailers up 73.8% and clothing retailers up 35.6%. Christmas shopping boosted online spend at specialist retailers (up 85.8%), a category which includes toy shops, jewellers and gift shops.
In terms of categories overall at both online and offline stores, it seems that consumers were mostly focused on daily necessities such as food and drink and on Christmas spending with sales for new game consoles and video games surging.
But despite the pharmacy, health & beauty category including both essentials and festive gifts, sales here fell 2.8% by value and 14.8% by volume.
However, on the physical stores front, discount stores – which were among the retailers able to stay open when non-essential shops closed in England – proved popular with a rise of 37.8% by value and 10.2% by volume. That came as 51% of consumers said they’ve become more careful to seek out value for money in the purchases they make.
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