Burden of its store estate and dominance of the online pureplays make Select the latest fashion casualty, says GlobalData

Following the recent news that Select has fallen into administration,

Honor Strachan, Principal Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

‘‘Select is another example where a CVA is not always the saviour for a troubled retailer, with deep-rooted commercial and operational issues beyond the help of a store cost-cutting exercise. However, with around 180 stores across the UK, one of the contributors to its downfall, and profit losses, has been the burden of its store estate. Rising costs and high business rates continue to make it extremely challenging for smaller fashion chains to operate profitably, forcing store closures and leading to share acquisition opportunities for the online pureplays as they can be more competitive on price and still produce better margins.

“The young fashion market has shifted so significantly in the last five years, that to its credit Select has managed to hold on until now, but the likes of boohoo.com, Missguided and ASOS, as well as physical players H&M and Primark, have innovated, adapted and responded to the changing needs of the 16-30 female audience – stealing share and leaving Select feeling outdated and lacking relevance.

“Select is the latest fashion casualty in a string of administration and CVA announcements in 2019, and we are not expecting it to be the last. The market will continue to become more concentrated, the high street more decimated and landlords more squeezed.”

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