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The Index December 2021/January 2022: The Sectors, The Channels, The Formats and The Behaviours

Lauretta Roberts
21 January 2022

Welcome to Part 1 of our monthly study into the behaviours of Britain’s fashion shoppers – The Index in partnership with Klarna for Business. In this section of our two-part study we examine where and how 2,000 nationally representative fashion shoppers bought their fashion and apparel in the three months prior to our study, which was conducted in the second half of December 2021.

The ominous rise of Omicron was at the forefront of shoppers’ minds as we headed into Christmas and while the Government decided to hold its nerve and keep retail open, the “lockdown by stealth” of Plan B restrictions, which instructed office workers to stay at home and led to reintroduction of face coverings in-store, meant that footfall for physical retail was badly affected.

According to experts at Springboard, total retail footfall across the UK was 18.6% lower in December 2021 than it had been pre-pandemic in 2019. This has compounded the strong shift towards digital shopping that we have seen throughout the pandemic and habits that were formed out of necessity now seem entrenched.

Each month we ask a simple question of shoppers, “When shopping for fashion in the past 3 months, did you buy… in-store only, online-only or both online and in-store” (see p8). This months some 26% of our shoppers had bought their clothes online only and the figure is surprisingly consistent across all age groups. Our last study before the pandemic struck in February 2020 showed this figure at just 18%, so we have seen an eight percentage point swing in favour of online.

For more information on this and many more insights, read and download your copy of this month's study below. And don't forget to check out Part 2 of our study – The Brands & The Buzz Scores – where we track the fortunes of 100 leading fashion retailers and brands, and measure consumer sentiment towards them.

The Index is produced in proud partnership with Klarna.

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