Fashion discounts up 43% YOY but Kate saves the day

UK retailers hit hard by the shutdown are preparing for ‘the biggest summer of discounting in years as they scramble to sell excess stock. 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 said on 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.

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 biggest surge in discounting include handbags (+88% year-on-year), jeans: (+66% year-on-year), dresses (+64% year-on-year), T shirts & vests (+56% year-on-year) and swimwear (+50% year-on-year).

One silver lining to the cloud hanging over the fashion industry is definitely the Duchess of Cambridge, whose influenced a 58 per cent increase in shopping searches during lockdown which resulted in every outfit she wore selling out in days. Kate’s influence has been stronger during lockdown than normal life.

Stuart McClure commented: “UK shoppers have been unable to hit the stores for two months now and more women than ever are turning to Kate for fashion inspiration. Kate’s popularity and global appeal is so significant, there isn’t another public figure out there that can match her influence in the virtual space. We expect Kate to continue her charity work online and lucky brands will be watching in anticipation of the duchess wearing their clothes.”

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. Demand for high street brands, by contrast, is down -145% YOY. Demand for premium brands is slightly down at -2% YOY. is a global marketplace for shopping discounts, the platform partners with more than 1,000 UK retailers, storing data from more than 16,000 high street, premium and luxury brands that appear on the site.