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High Street gears up for “mother of all sales”

Shoppers looking to throw off the shackles of lockdown with some retail therapy will be greeted with wall to wall discounts when high street shops reopen.   After shutting their shops 7 weeks ago fashion retailers are inundated with stock they were desperate to shift before summer lines become obsolete.  During lockdown virtually every high street chain has been discounting heavily on line.

H&M is selling more than 1,000 lines reduced by up to 70% while in Next clearance sale some garments are available at more than a quarter of their original price. Mulberry, the luxury handbag designer, has offered 40% off.  On average more that 30% of a fashion retailer’s stock is made up from wardrobe fillers that can flow through into the next season.  For chains such as Top Show, who watch tends closely the proportion is lower than for the likes of Marks & Spencer.  The number of products discounted by Topshop has jumped by 234% from this time a year ago, according to the online portal Love The Sales.

Suppliers are feeling the pain too.  Bangladesh’s Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has reported that orders for 982 million garments, worth £2.6 billion have been cancelled or suspended.  Manufacturing facilities are only designed to hold  stock for a couple of weeks.