More than 80% of fashion independents will be opening all or some of their stores on 15 June, an exclusive study from TheIndustry.fashion in partnership with women's apparel show Scoop has revealed.
More than 500 independents* across the UK and Ireland polled in the past week said they were keen to re-open as soon as government regulations allowed with just over 75% saying they will open their store or all of their stores and a further almost 6% saying they will open some stores.
Just over 18.5% of respondents are waiting to open their doors while they ascertain demand from consumers post-lockdown.
During lockdown almost 54% of independents have been trading online via their own websites, while almost 12% have also been represented on fashion-specific marketplaces, such as Atterley and Farfetch. Almost a third (30%) have been selling via their social channels with a similar number having not sold online at all.
Of those who have been trading online almost 36% said online sales had been up year-on-year, while 37% said online demand had been been the same. Just over 22% had been offering discounts across all of their products during lockdown with a further 30% offering some discounts.
The results form the first part of a dossier of information that TheIndustry.fashion in partnership with Scoop is gathering as part of a campaign to ensure independent retail is given the support it needs from government to thrive post-lockdown and to ensure a healthy future for the high street. The dossier will be passed to an appropriate government body at the conclusion of the campaign.
One of the major issues highlighted by independents in the survey is the need to curb excess discounting in fashion. While retailers will likely need to discount to shift stock and generate cash once their doors re-open (some 30% of respondents intend to go on sale immediately), moving forward there is a clear desire for defined sales periods to create a level playing field and to ensure stock in store is more closely aligned to the season.
Nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) backed a move for fashion to have defined sale periods, with January and August being the preferred dates, and 61% of respondents saying they want the government to intervene and set defined sales periods, as happens in other European countries.
Karen Radley, founder and managing director Scoop said: “We are very pleased to see that so many independents will begin trading again from Monday 15 June but it is clear that they are facing a great many challenges ahead and we will be doing our best to support the industry with this campaign.
"Independent retailers have sent a clear message with these results that the level of discounting in the market is unsustainable and government needs to look, as in Europe, at setting official 'sale' dates. We do understand retailers will need to do all they can to stabilise their businesses in the short term, but we want to help to address these crucial problems moving forward."
The full results of our study will be published shortly on TheIndustry.fashion. Sign up to our Daily Update news bulletin to ensure to receive the alert when the full report is published.
*511 independents completed the survey, which ran from Friday 5 to Wednesday 10 June.