Lead Forensics

Sales of clothing resilient in small towns

Shops selling non-essential goods have now reopened, and according to a report by Drapers, many people don’t feel safe shopping in major cities, preferring more local, smaller towns.

Clothing retailers like Phase Eight have done well in smaller market towns. Retail rents tend to be lower in these areas, which helps clothing retailers make a profit.

For retailers like Primark, which rely on large numbers of shoppers to buy their cheaper priced clothing, bigger stores in larger towns are required.

According to Drapers, Jonathan De Mello of retail property consultancy CWM says:

“Retailers like Phase Eight and White Stuff have been trading in smaller towns and doing well. St Albans, Marlow, Henley – the London commuter locations tend to do well, even before Covid.”

Property adviser firm Harper Dennis Hobbs forecasts that this trend for smaller locations will continue after the pandemic is over. Provided clothing retailers are able to offer a wide range of garments, local consumers will prefer to shop in smaller towns.

During the lockdowns, many people shopped for clothes online, and some are expected to continue to do so post-pandemic. Clothing retailers such as Phase Eight and Crew Clothing expanded their online operations. Their strategy for clothing retailing is providing a combination of physical and online shops.

Though some retailers, such as Debenhams and the Arcadia Group, folded during the pandemic, retail experts expect many clothing retailers to continue trading profitably. This is also good news for the garment rails manufacturer, which supplies the storage equipment clothing retailers use.

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