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Textiles Intelligence

Talking strategy: how "bricks and mortar" stores are addressing the challenges posed by online fashion retailers

Fashion retail on both sides of the Atlantic is plagued with store closures.

20th November 2019

Innovation in Textiles

Clothing/​Footwear, Sports/​Outdoor

Report summary

Fashion retail on both sides of the Atlantic is plagued with store closures. In the UK, once great names in retail such as Topman and Topshop are facing difficulties. Even Marks & Spencer (M&S) plans to close more than 100 stores before 2022, and most of the 53 stores belonging to House of Fraser are rumoured to be set for closure.

The troubles of the sector are blamed on the growth of online sales, as more consumers are choosing to shop in the comfort of their own homes on their computers, tablets or smartphones. However, two fundamental drawbacks of online shopping are the inability to try on clothing before buying it and the time consumed and cost incurred when returning unwanted items.

Consequently, despite the convenience which online shopping provides, many consumers would still prefer to visit real shops, browse the clothing on offer and try it on for size and fit before committing themselves. In fact, some of the losses in share suffered by established "bricks and mortar" retailers in recent years have been picked up by discount stores such as Tesco, Primark and TK Maxx.

In this report, Robin Anson analyses changes in consumer buying habits and their consequences for bricks and mortar stores—with particular reference to some of the UK's leading retailers. Furthermore, he discusses how bricks and mortar retailers can respond positively to the challenge from online retailers and examines what can be done to attract the attention of consumers and tear them away from their devices.

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Publisher: Textiles Intelligence

7 pages, published October 2019

Report price: Euro 265.00; US$ 350.00

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