With the shoppers on the streets of US showing more confidence and spending muscle at the retail outlets despite the continuing slowdown, retailers from other markets are now trying to secure their spot on the streets of US for better opportunities. And standing first in line are the British brands TOPSHOP, TOPMAN, FCUK, TED BAKER…
One of the most dynamic forms of business, fashion is directly dependent on the consumer’s will to buy. With more than half of the UK’s independent retailers worried about the year ahead, as sales at fashion retail outlets fell below the national average, fashion retailers are frantically looking at new options and markets to help boost sales. According to recent reports from the British Independent Retailers Association, sales of clothing and footwear in UK fell 4.69 per cent from April to June in 2012. Whereas UK is facing the problem of dipping consumer confidence with each passing day, the US streets have witnessed a rise in overall spending in apparel. Chain store sales in US rose 0.2 per cent in June from a year earlier and the luxury store retailers continued to lead the industry with a 7.6 per cent year-on-year increase.
US retail analysis…
- In the US, annual spending on shopper marketing is $ 50 -$ 60 billion (£ 31.8 – 38.2 billion).
- Same-store sales for more than 20 companies rose 4.4% in the month of July alone.
- 84% of retailers reported data for sales, which exceeded projections of Retail Metrics.
- Macy’s, the second biggest department store chain in US, reported a 1.2% increase in same-store sales in its third quarter.
- Target, the second largest discount chain, notched a 2.1% gain in the market.
- Nordstrom, the upscale department store chain’s sales rose 8.1% in June.
Realizing the potential of being in the US at this point of time, many UK brands have made US entry in the last two years. French Connection, one of the most recognized fashion brands on the high streets of London entered the US market in 2010. Today, the globally recognized French Connection and FCUS have been further extended and the Group has granted a licence to a subsidiary of Li & Fung in the US to supply clothing products to the Sears department stores under the brand “UK Style by French Connection”.
Trendy UK brand Ted Baker, manufacturing garments known for their finesse and quality, has seen good growth in US over the past 12 months despite financial climate not being supportive to make profits. The brand is also planning to open 12 more shops across US and Asia in 2013, considering its retail sales in the United States jumped 69 per cent to $ 34.9 million.
Meanwhile, Topshop and Topman, the British brands known for their latest trends and youthful designs are also ready to rule the hearts of customers in US with their partnership with Nordstrom. The partnership works out to be a low-risk, inexpensive deal to expand its presence in US, where it’s perhaps best known for a five-year-old line of Kate Moss designed clothes once sold at Barneys New York. Topshop also plans to have as many as 20 US stores of its own in the next three years, part of expansion designed to reduce reliance on slowing growth back home in Britain.
The success story of these international brands doing a better than expected job in US, is not confined to the brick-n-mortar platform, these brands are also making their mark on the e-tail podium.
Warehouse, Oasis, and Coast, the mainstays of the British “High Street” today hold an official US e-commerce site. In addition to this, a London based online luxury shopping mall was launched in United States in July 2012, bringing 100 of the best fashion designers and labels from around the world to the US market.
The trend is moving fast and strong, and paves way for other brands to attract consumers looking forward to buy products from the homeland of the duchess.
Considering the income, the savings rate, and unemployment, there’s still a lot of cause for pessimism, but the US consumer is amazingly resilient and has displayed a huge surge in spending. England and America, two countries known to be separated by a common language, also seems to be separated by their spending habits in the retail world.