The legacy and success of online fashion brands based in the North has been undeniable, home to the likes of JD Sports, Boohoo and N Brown Group. But with the release of trading updates this month, have some of these big fashion giants finally hit a wall?
Business was booming for many online retailers back in 2020, although the high street was left derelict, consumers embraced online shopping to get their fashion haul fixes instead.
When lockdowns eased, a new battle emerged as the cost of living crisis reared its head. As shoppers tighten the purse strings, online retailers are starting to feel the pinch too.
“With the backdrop of low consumer confidence, rising inflation and the prospect of tough times ahead, the clothing and footwear sector has been hit hard by the cost of living crisis,” Catherine Shuttleworth, retail analyst and founder of Leeds-based Savvy Marketing, told Prolific North.
“All businesses headquartered in the North are feeling a wind of change from consumers but there are winners and losers in the pack.”
Online fast fashion retailer Boohoo group, which has a portfolio of brands including PrettyLittleThing and Dorothy Perkins, warned of a dip in revenues by 11% for the four months to 31st December, reporting £637.7m, down from £714.5m in the same period last year. Although the online fashion group launched a sustainability strategy, the rise of the conscious consumer could be having an impact.
“Online fast fashion retailers like Boohoo are seeing a slow down in sales driven by their shoppers’ lifestyles and attitudes really changing,” said Shuttleworth.