The UK fashion market returned to growth last month as full-price sales boosted the sector’s performance.

Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories edged up 0.2% in September, following 14 consecutive months of decline.

According to data from Kantar Worldpanel, that equated to an extra £66m being spent on apparel, compared to a year ago.

Full-price sales drove the return to growth, jumping 2% year-on-year in the 52 weeks ending 24 September.

Full-price sales contributed an additional £483m to the fashion sector compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, discounting fell 2.7% as 98 million fewer items were sold on promotion.

Kantar Worldpanel consumer insight director Glen Tooke said: “For years we’ve seen heavy discounting and this created an atmosphere of mistrust – consumers felt clothing wasn’t worth its full price.

“Retailers are finally recognising that most shoppers aren’t after what’s “in season’”

Glen Tooke, Kantar Worldpanel

“Retailers have made a significant effort to address this by focusing on getting the value right from the off and as a result shoppers have more confidence in buying at the original price.”

Tooke added: “Retailers are finally recognising that most shoppers aren’t after what’s “in season” – partly because trends so often bear little relation to the British weather – and larger ranges and a more flexible approach to stock control are helping to break this cycle.”

But Tooke warned retailers not to be “complacent” ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period and urged businesses to be “proactive” in order to sustain long term growth.

He added: “For some time, retailers have been investing in improving the shopping experience – tapping into the trend for more experiential purchases with messaging around how fashion can contribute to a great night out or holiday.

“They’ve also added cafés to make shopping more social; spaces which encourage personalisation and creativity; and new technology to add excitement to stores.

“However, as consumers’ appetite for innovation grows, retailers need to keep thinking of new ways to stand out from the crowd.”