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Lockdown lowdown: The big discounters, what people want and what they don’t

Tom Bottomley
18 November 2020

Black Friday campaigns are already in full swing, with the likes of Karen Millen and Coast offering 50% off everything and AllSaints offering 30% off, according to the latest sales analysis data from

Overall, online retailers have increased discounts by +49% during Lockdown 2, with other big names including Reiss, offering 20% off full price products, and Daniel Footwear offering 25% off everything.

All categories are being hit by the latest lockdown, as retailers are discounting stock that isn’t selling in any way the same numbers as at the same time in 2019.

Men’s shirts are seeing +66% in the volume of discounts compared to November 2019, women’s heels are being discounted by +30% more, dresses by +35%, coats and jackets +26% and jeans a whopping +82% in the volume of discounts.

Retailers are discounting at record levels before Black Friday, as premium brands soar while high street and luxury brands struggle during Lockdown 2.

Categories seeing the highest increase in demand in November include loungewear at +122% year-on-year, with brands such as Ugg (+52%) Calvin Klein (+42%) and Nike (+25%) in particularly high consumer demand. Hoodies are +164% on November 2019 so far, joggers +118%, sweatshirts +81%, tie-dye clothing +72% and slippers +52%.

Categories struggling in demand this November so far include office wear, which has dropped -145% compared to November 2019. Suits are -166%, men’s shirts -130%, smart trousers -127%, belts -150% and derby shoes -103%.

Party clothing has also seen a dramatic drop in demand at -99%. Wrap dresses are down in demand by -115%, ‘bodycon’ dresses are -99% and clutch bags -61%.

Stuart McClure, co-founder of, said: “Shoppers have gone back into lockdown mode with their spending habits, choosing comfort and convenience while stuck indoors. We are tracking the same amount of spending on lockdown essentials as we did back in March.

“We would normally see a wave of spending on work clothing and partywear, as workers start planning ahead for December celebrations. However, shoppers seem confined to the fact that celebrations this year will most likely be in sweats rather than suits.

Shoppers can be cautious with their spending during the lockdown period, but the announcement from the Chancellor prolonging the furlough scheme until March has boosted shopping confidence and searches for certain categories.

Online demand for premium brands is +31% so far in November 2020, compared to November 2019, while online demand for luxury brands is -44% and online demand for high street brands is -23%.

McClure added: “As we saw with the first lockdown, premium brands like Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker are thriving. Shoppers are in no rush to keep on top of trends and fast fashion, and are choosing to spend on reliable quality pieces over quantity.

“Luxury clothing is also suffering with shoppers reluctant to invest in high price tags for clothing that they might not be able to show off in 2020.”

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