Analysis: How fashion retailers can offload £15bn of old stock without huge Sales

Black Friday sale sign

With non-essential retail stores just weeks away from reopening their doors, many retailers now have to contend with the excess out-of-season stock that has piled up in both stores and warehouses.

Fashion retailers are estimated to be facing up to £15bn in stock write-offs as a result of the coronavirus lockdownThe March to June period accounts for a third of the UK’s £55bn-a-year fashion sales, putting £18bn of revenue at risk. Retail Economics and Alvarez & Marsal estimate that non-food sales have plunged 70% during the pandemic.

To get rid of dated stock, prices are predicted to be slashed. Currently Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Asos, John Lewis, New Look and Debenhams are offering discounts of up to 50% online.

Harrods is even opening a new store in Westfield London specifically to handle its summer Sale. The store, called Harrods Outlet, is set to open in early July and is designed to ease pressure on its iconic Knightsbridge store to ensure social distancing is not compromised.

Analysts predict that blanket discounts could last until the end of the year, but there are alternatives to huge Sales to shift excess stock. Retail Week looks at some of the more inventive ways fashion retailers are offloading old clothes.

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