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Fast-fashion e-tailers win Christmas race

Clothing and footwear online pureplays such as Boohoo and Asos delivered standout performances during the recent Christmas period – as did fast-growing clothing retailer Quiz – according to market intelligence group GlobalData.

With all the key retailer festive trading figures now in, GlobalData has compiled its rankings – with Footasylum (second), Mountain Warehouse (third) and Joules (sixth) all joining Boohoo (first), Quiz (fourth) and Asos (fifth) as top performers.

Concerns were raised by the sales figures reported at mid-market players House of Fraser, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer – and particularly at baby and parenting goods retailer Mothercare – especially with online growth there remaining sluggish.

With a 7.2% and 6.9% drop in like-for-like and online sales respectively, Mothercare was judged one of the worst performing players in retail this Christmas.

Sarah Johns, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “What is certain is that investing in multichannel is vital to long-term survival as shopper reluctance to visit department stores takes its toll and shoppers increasingly turn to buying online.

“While Mothercare was not alone in reporting negative online sales (House of Fraser’s was down 7.5%), it is disappointing that eCommerce sales fell so sharply when growth in online retail spending grew 7.6% in 2017 and so many other retailers reported double-digit growth in this channel.”

GlobalData reflected on the pressure on consumer budgets in the run-up to Christmas, which it said was especially due to high inflation in food in the latter half of 2017, and this helped discount players such as Aldi and Lidl report stellar trading.

For the fashion retail winners, listed high in the rankings, Johns said there were a number of factors in common.

“With a clear understanding of their target customers and ability to capitalise on demand for stylish, trend-led products and demand for convenient delivery options, it is unsurprising that these retailers performed so well,” she explained.

Fashion players Next, Bonmarche and Moss Bros were the retailers joining Mothercare in the bottom four of GlobalData’s rankings.