British fashion brands have discounted more heavily than usual since Brexit day on January 31, while European brands sold in the UK market have got more expensive, new analysis suggests.
LovetheSales.com found that British brands have discounted more goods and with bigger discounts, in the wake of Brexit than they did at the same time last year, unlike their European counterparts.
LovetheSales.com co-founder Stuart McClure says that UK retailers and manufacturers appear to be responding to the UK’s departure from the European Union, perhaps preempting issues that may arise at the end of the transition period.
McClure said: "Even though fashion brands have yet to be impacted by changes to tariffs on imported goods and materials, our price data suggests retailers and manufacturers have reacted quickly to the UK’s exit from the European Union.
“There are three potential reasons that are likely drivers of this price drop behaviour from British brands: concern over consumer confidence, the need to move product out of European locations and, potentially, the desire to build a war chest of cash in anticipation of production costs increasing come the end of the transition period.”
The discount aggregator site analysed the price of more than a million UK and European branded fashion products before and after the UK officially left the EU on January 31. Prices analysed included both full price and discounted goods. It found that the price of British brands had fallen by an average of 12% – moving away from years in which prices have historically been raised following the January sales. In 2018, average prices rose by 5% in February and in 2019, they rose by 4%. The prices of European brands, meanwhile, are now 9% more expensive.
There are also more discounted products since January. Normally, says LovetheSales, the number of products sold at a discount falls after the January sales by between 15% and 25%. But this year, there are 15% more discounted British brands on sales – and 22% fewer European brands.
The size of the discount on British brands is also greater than in January, the analysis found. The average discount on a British brand moved from 39% in January to 44% in February. A year earlier, by contrast, the average discount after the January sales was 38% and in 2018 it was 39%. European products have stayed more consistent, with an average discount of 35% over the last two months.
The biggest price cuts detected by LovetheSales are on men’s shirts, women’s dresses, and coats and jackets for both women and men made by British brands. The price of men’s shirts from UK brands has fallen by 15%, with average discounts rising from 42% off in January to 47% off in February. The price of women’s dresses fell by 34%, with the average discount rising from 44% off in January to 52% off in February.
Across men’s and women’s coats and jackets, prices have fallen by 17%, with the average discount rising from 41% off in January to 48% off in February.