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Fashion discounts up 43% YOY as retailers prepare for ‘biggest summer sale ever’ to clear unprecedented levels of excess stock

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UK retailers hit hard by the shutdown are preparing for ‘the biggest summer of discounting’ in years, according to

Retailers are in desperate need of a way to sell excess stock and are planning to offer unprecedented levels of discounting to shoppers this summer. Online retailers have begun kickstarting demand by offering 43% more clothing discounts than this time last year, an increase of 13% week-on-week. 

Stuart McClure, co-founder of says of the increase in discounting: “The pandemic has hit retail hard. Initially, China’s shutdown meant chaos for orders and deliveries of goods that led to delays in arrival to the UK – this meant reduced selling time for those goods. Then, stores closed in the UK, meaning further loss of opportunity to sell. Whilst eCommerce has seen a bit of an uplift, it’s not anywhere near enough to offset the loss of physical sales. Retailers have an ever increasing volume of inventory they need to sell. This can be seen in the data we are tracking on our marketplace.”

He adds: “The volume of products discounted is currently up 43% YOY and this is increasing – WOW increase was 13% from this week to last. We’re already seeing a huge surge in sales online, and we’ll see the same in store when they re-open. Under the circumstances retailers find themselves in, we expect this to be a record breaking summer sales period for retail discounting.”

Clothing categories with the biggest surge in discounting:

• Handbags: +88% year-on-year

• Jeans: +66% year-on-year

• Dresses: +64% year-on-year

• T shirts & vests: +56% year-on-year

• Swimwear: +50% year-on-year.

Demand for high street brands hits a record low for May

Meanwhile, high street fashion continues to struggle in lockdown, with demand for high street brands down 145% year-on-year; a five year low for May.

Jessie Stein, professional stylist said of the data: “Many shoppers I speak to don’t want the hassle of returning low value items, whilst stuck inside. High street brands thrive on a buzzing high street, where shoppers can try before they buy with ease. The lockdown has stopped a lot of impulse buying for cheaper, ‘wear once’ type clothing.”

Demand for luxury fashion continues to rise, growing by 32% year-on-year. Luxury labels took a hit in demand at the beginning of lockdown, but are now starting to recover in May.  According to’s data:

• Demand for high street brands: -145% year-on-year

• Demand for luxury brands: +32% year-on-year

• Demand for premium brands: -2% year-on-year.

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