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Data: UK online fashion sector continues to shrink back from pandemic peak

The UK online fashion sector continues to shrink back from its pandemic peak, but despite inflation, remains stronger than in 2019, new research has revealed.

According to the 2023 RetailX Fashion report, the industry pocketed over £36.2 billion in e-commerce revenues last year, noticeably down on 2021’s peak of £39.2 billion.

“This small but significant decline in the sector’s fortunes is seen across all three major segments
that make up the UK online fashion, with apparel, footwear and accessories all seeing sales growth reduce across the tail end of 2021 and all of 2022,” the report stated.

Its findings revealed apparel made up the majority of the ecommerce fashion sales last year (70%), with womenswear dominating the market generating revenues of £13.2 billion.

Meanwhile, footwear, which makes up around 11% of UK ecommerce fashion sales in 2022, generated £3.9 billion, posting the largest year-on-year fall of any sub-segment in the sector from its £4.5 billion
the peak in 2021.

Accessories, which account for 19% of UK online fashion sales totalled £6.9 billion, have fared better
than both apparel and footwear, showing revenues in 2022 actually above those of 2020 and only
marginally down on their peak in 2021.

The report continued to reveal almost two-thirds of all UK online consumers have shopped online for fashion in the past year, with 61% of the UK online market consisting of fashion shoppers.

It stated: “These consumers are also much more dedicated online shoppers, with the vast majority of them shopping online more than once a week.

“These customers are shopping both for fashion and general ecommerce in this timeframe, 52% shopping fashion this frequently and a comparable 47% for general ecommerce.”

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