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BFC’s State of Retail Report points to Brits buying “bounceback wardrobe”

Tom Bottomley
28 July 2021

The British Fashion Council (BFC) has released a new State of Retail Report, supported by Clearpay, which highlights the positive outlook for fashion and beauty in 2021.

The report, compiled by Oxford Economics, indicates a return to a “Roaring 20’s” scenario as Brits are investing in a “bounceback wardrobe” and bolstering the economy as they come out of “loungewear fatigue”.

Bold colourways, opulent textures and metallics are all trends pulling at the purse strings of party ready people seeking some escapism, which were also reflected on the catwalks during London Fashion Week in June.

Wardrobe staples becoming increasingly popular include the top five dress silhouettes; babydoll, chiffon, tiered, floral and frill.

Consumer spending on fashion and beauty is expected to explode throughout the rest of 2021, with sales growing to more than £112 billion - a 3.4% increase even on pre-COVID levels.

The report shows month-on-month growth in retail sales of 9.2%, reflecting continued easing of coronavirus restrictions, including the reopening of non-essential retail in England and Wales.

Strong growth is predicted in 2021 Q2 and beyond, with fashion and beauty product sales growing by around 34% quarter on quarter.

Sales of lipstick nearly doubled and sales of eyeshadow increased by 20% between April - June 2021, versus April - June 2020.

On average, women invested £200 between April - June 2021, a 21% increase on the £165 average during the same period in 2020.

Meanwhile, on average, men spent £175 between April - June 2021, an increase from the £160 average during the same period in 2020.

The average cart size from April - June 2021 also increased from 3.7 items per order to 4 items per order.

The new report says that 2021 is going to be “the year of celebration with glitz and glam”. From micro-sequins to clear beads and glitter in beauty products, “everyone is going to seek to express joy and hope.”

Gen Z is certain to be at the forefront of this new mindset, as they are poised to be the fashion innovators of the future.

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