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Measuring the influence of Love Island on online fashion sales – and retailers

Love Island helped launch Molly Mae Hague as an influencer and now PLT creative director. Image courtesy of Pretty Little Thing

Online fashion sales grew by more than a tenth while reality show Love Island ran this summer, new analysis suggests.

Affiliate network Awin tracked online sales data during the eight week run of the show, which started on ITV on June 28 and ran until August 28 when Millie and Liam won the series. Awin’s analysis found that fashion sales were 11% higher in volume and 14% higher in value during that period than in the previous eight weeks. Health and beauty sales were 9% lower during the same comparison period, while sales in the sports and fitness category were 2% lower.

Compared with the eight-week period before Love Island, fashion sales were higher during each week, peaking at +19% greater in the first week of the show, and +22% in the final week.

The figures also suggest, says Awin, that sports and fitness sales were 17% higher during the first week of Love Island than they were during the the first week of the Olympics, and 36% higher in the second week. 

Lee Metters, retail client partner at Awin, says: “Much of what we found was unsurprising; Love Island works so closely with fashion brands and the contestants wear new items daily, sales in this sector were bound to have a strong eight weeks. It was however interesting to see that Love Island seemed to have a greater effect on sports and fitness sales than the Olympic games did.”

The growth in fashion sales during Love Island also reflects the breadth of coverage that the show has enjoyed. Love Island fashion stories have appeared in outlets from OK! and The Sun  to PopSugar and Cosmopolitan Middle East. According to Cosmopolitan, this was the first time on Love Island that female contestants have worn clothing from the official sponsor, I Saw It First, rather than choosing their own clothing. Party dresses and swimwear are likely to have been among the key categories to benefit, it says, while Hello! magazine cites neon as a key trend.

The show’s strong influence on fashion sales may also have been reflected in the appointment, announced yesterday, of former Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague (pictured) as creative director for online-only retailer PrettyLittleThing. Hague has gone on to be an influencer who has worked with the fashion retailer on previous campaigns and now launches her first capsule collection with them.

Umar Kamani, chief executive of PrettyLittleThing, says: “This felt like a natural fit for us. Molly has been a huge part of our PrettyLittleThing journey and she is so invested in the brand. We wanted to explore different avenues together and bring her on board as more of a creative, where she can work closely with our team and be involved in our wider strategy across the UK and Europe over the next 12 months.” 


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