For U.K. luxury and fashion retailers and brands, a post-Brexit market is clearly richer, according to analytics firm Edited.
Globally, though, the luxury segment is seeing some deceleration.
The U.K.-based research firm tracks online transactions and “sell-outs,” which are products not available for purchase due to being sold out. In the week following the Brexit vote, Edited found that U.K. luxury apparel sellouts increased by 90 percent.
“For luxury retailers, the common hypotheses holds that the much-weakened pound could set off a stampede of tourists in Regent Street with increased purchasing motivating bigger spend,” the researchers said in their report. “Of course that assumes the pound stays low, which, like so many facets of this uncertain new reality, remains to be seen.”
In its analysis, the research firm found that Burberry had increased its full-price sell-outs by 50 percent on a year-over-year basis. Accessories made up 60 percent of the sell-outs while tops garnered 13 percent of the share followed by outerwear with 9 percent and footwear also with 9 percent.
“Similarly, British luxury retailer Matches has seen a 90 percent increase of full-price sell-outs online, year-over-year,” the research firm said. “Best-selling brands [the week following the Brexit vote were] Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Moncler and Gucci.”
But the research firm was quick to note that globally, the luxury market had 40 percent fewer sell-outs in that post-Brexit week compared to the same period last year.
“Consumers are being cautious and retailers aren’t baiting sales with discounts – June is down 7 percent on discounted products year-over-year,” the firm said. “Of the luxury items that did sell out, 49 percent were accessories (with an average price $1,205), 12 percent were tops (with an average price point of $546), 9 percent were footwear (at $607) and 7 percent were beauty products (at $58).”
The trend is continuing. The firm said the luxury market had 48 percent fewer full-price sell-outs online from June 24 June to July 3 compared to the same period last year.
Edited researchers said the post-Brexit threats include falling employment, which would impact consumer spending. It also noted that retailers that source goods from the Far East, including China, Cambodia and Vietnam, could be “impacted as often they pay suppliers in U.S. dollars.”
Other threats include a “potential fashion and retail brain drain from the U.K.” and it noted that “U.K. fashion education, world-renowned, will be less attractive (more expensive) to global applicants and could lose its esteem, which will impact the London fashion industry status.”
However, there are “silver linings,” the company said, which include a tourist boom in the U.K. and “potential growth for Italian and French brands who can take European market share.”
“Luxury brands will have to think even more carefully about what the tourist shopper wants to buy and what they can’t get locally,” the researchers said. “British brands will have to continue to tell great stories about their heritage (despite national uncertainty and unrest) and their craftsmanship in order to stand out.”