Jun 3, 2020
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French Connection and Arcadia brands top markdown list

Jun 3, 2020

As fashion retail gets ready for a deluge of discounts once stores reopen, many retailers are already cutting prices with French Connection and a quartet of Arcadia labels leading the charge.

French Connection has most of its product marked down online - French Connection

New figures from discount aggregator site LovetheSales.com show that online discounts have soared 20% since the lockdown began and, interestingly, demand for high street brands has risen for the first time since March.

It also said that celebrities are continuing to make an impact and demand for any Holly Willoughby dress seen on TV show This Morning has surged during lockdown.

The retailers discounting the most in the period from May 20 to Jun 2 have been led by French Connection with as much as 90% of all its clothing online currently discounted. The company is offering 25% off its spring collection and new customers signing up to its newsletter can get 10% off full-price purchases. The average discount is 52%.

Meanwhile, Miss Selfridge currently has 83% of its online clothing discounted with an average discount across all items of 48% off. Arcadia portfolio-mate Dorothy Perkins is in third place with 81% of its offer on markdown and average savings of 42%. Also owned by Arcadia, Burton has 80% of all its online clothing on offer with an average saving of 36%. Skipping one place, Arcadia's star brand Topshop has 69% of its online clothing marked down with average discounts of 29%.

Moving away from that group, AllSaints is in fifth place (77% of all online clothing discounted/average discount of 42%). Ben Sherman is in seventh place (64%/48%); Reiss is eighth (62%/47%); Converse is next (61%/43%); and Joules rounds out the top 10 (58%/42%).

With such generous discounts available it's perhaps no surprise that demand for high street fashion has increased in the last two weeks for the first time since the lockdown started.

The company said that searches for high street brands have risen 11% year-on-year after it reported a five-year low for such searches in the early weeks of May. It seems that with the prospect of shops reopening soon, consumer interest is building once again. 

Searches for luxury fashion also continue to increase, rising by 22% year-on-year, while demand for premium brands remains the same.

As mentioned, Holly Willoughby is proving to be a big influencer via the clothes she's been wearing on This Morning. She’s one of the few UK celebrity influencers who has maintained a constant TV presence during lockdown and her appearances have driven greater demand for fashion than any other UK TV star.

LovetheSales has tracked each outfit Willoughby has worn on the show during lockdown and demand for her fashion has doubled since March. On average, her lockdown looks increase fashion searches online by 65% for the week following each outfit’s TV appearance.

In May, a J Crew Midi Dress in embroidered chiffon drove searches for ‘yellow midi dresses’ up by 57%, while a March appearance in a Whistles Almond Blossom Misha Dress sent searches for ‘Whistle dresses’ up 77%. And a Ghost Daisy Print Lucinda Dress sold out instantly, while searches for ‘daisy print dresses’ spiked by 79% in the next few days after her appearance. 

In April, a Sandro Paris Knitted Tailored Dress appearance led to rising demand and to it being sold out in May. Searches for double-breasted midi dress increased by 81% as a result. 

And on June 2, she returned to the TV show's sofa from a half-term break in a floral print Tiggy Midi Dress by Ghost. The dress has “caused a huge buzz online in the last 24 hours, increasing searches for yellow floral dresses by 86%” on Lovethesales, the company said.

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