Figures out last week showed total retail sales in the UK rose by 5.1% in April, marking a significant increase on last year, with sales in the US edging up 0.9%.
While this might suggest fashion consumers are driving demand both in store and at a manufacturing level, it seems retailers are continuing to struggle – so much so that this pressure is now reaching the supplier far more directly.
Earlier this year, following its acquisition of JD brands, Frasers Group reportedly requested a 10% discount off outstanding payments and a 20% discount off ordered goods for spring-summer 2023.
And Boohoo appears to have followed suit. Suppliers of the fashion giant last week reportedly received calls from the retailer demanding a 10% discount as a way of “capturing deflation in a timely manner”.
Boohoo is one of a number of retailers now looking to optimise operations in a bid to cut costs but this latest move is one that will undoubtedly increase concerns for suppliers that are already battling financial concerns of their own.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Investment and expansion is still happening in the retail space, with sustainability front of mind.
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has just injected fresh funding into Nobody’s Child, the eco-conscious fashion brand it owns a 27% stake in, while fashion e-tailer Shein has partnered with circular economy technology company Queen of Raw as part of its efforts to achieve a fully circular textile industry by 2050.
Investments like these depend solely on consumer spending, and the retailers that will win are those that get it right in terms of offering value for money.
With summer just around the
corner, retailers will be hoping for some much-needed sunshine and an easing of
inflation to entice consumers back into stores and online after what can only
be described as a pretty stagnant start to the year.
By Just Style