Fashion sales rose in December, NWEC urges more support

Fashion sales rose in December, NWEC urges more support. December’s official retail sales on Friday drew a line under what was a disastrous year for retailing and especially for fashion, although the month itself was relatively buoyant in the circumstances.

The year-on-year growth rate in the volume of retail sales increased by 2.9% when compared with December 2019. And non-store retailers reported the largest year-on-year growth at 43.5%.

But in 2020 as a whole, estimates of the quantity bought decreased by 1.9%, which was the largest year-on-year fall on record.

And clothing stores were down 25.1% during the year with the record annual increase for non-store retailing of 32% unable to make up for the fall. That said, total online retail values rose by 46.1% in 2020 year-on-year, the highest annual growth reported since 2008. And department stores saw a 65.9% rise in their online sales values.

But as we know, however much good news there was in the latest figures, it can’t disguise how difficult last year was for the fashion sector, a situation that’s continuing in 2021. Many clothing retailers shut stores for good last year and others collapsed under the weight of Covid restrictions.

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