A surprise heatwave during March led to a huge boost in demand for both clothing and footwear – with like for like sales increasing by 1.3 per cent as people rushed to upgrade their wardrobes as the weather changed.
However, with April proving to have less of a reliable climate, how can you continue to get the items you want at the right price, without leaving your home?
Best sales for five years
During the month, the British Retail Consortium reports that footwear enjoyed its most significant sales growth in nearly five years. Indeed clothing firms also enjoyed their best performance since the pre-Christmas rush; while demand for gardening goods and barbecue food also helped like-for-like sales.
However, the BRC did issue a word of caution to scupper any real enthusiasm about the figures – highlighting that they were in comparison to an exceptionally weak March in 2011: and stating that the sunshine may have only brought sales forward rather than creating a genuine increase. Life is still set to be difficult for retailers.
Of note is that women’s wear, in particular, did not perform as well as ranges for men and children: with women said to have tightened their purse strings most severely as they attempt to gain control over household budgets.
Online sales the way forward
What’s interesting is that even with the warm weather, many people were still choosing to shop from home: with online retailers enjoying sales growth of 13.9 per cent: their best performance since the Christmas period.
Many people traditionally shy away from buying clothes and footwear online, believing it’s difficult to judge these items without being able to try them on. However, most retailers have clear, and often free, return policies – so it should be no more inconvenient to order clothes and footwear on the web as it would be to buy them in a shop, find they’re not quite as you expected, and then have to traipse all the way back. What’s more is that it’s a great time to shop for clothing and footwear because there are a host of fashion voucher codes on the market.
For example, BOX Clothing has recently issued several new voucher codes through Moneysaver.ie. Its offers include £15 off £100 spend on full-priced items at BOX Clothing; 10 per cent off full-priced men’s and women’s coats and jackets; and 10 per cent off full-priced men’s and women’s footwear.
Of course, BOX isn’t the only retailer with appealing offers available. You could also enjoy 40 per cent off all full-priced items at Brook Taverner; and free shipping on all orders at Chesca.