Not just Arcadia: Fashion is fleeing the high street

Following today’s news (Friday 15 March) that Arcadia is reportedly poised to launch a CVA, Sofie Willmott, Senior Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the chains current challenges:

“News that Arcadia is poised to launch a CVA comes as no surprise as clothing & footwear spend continues to shift online and rising operating costs make physical locations less viable.

“High streets will be the hardest hit with already declining spend being further impacted by significant branch closure plans at Arcadia as well as major players Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. The shuttering of anchor stores in town centres will encourage consumers to go elsewhere to purchase clothing & footwear, negatively impacting other retailers in the area.

“GlobalData forecasts that clothing & footwear will be the fastest declining sector in town centres over the next five years with spend falling 13.8% between 2018 and 2023, versus the total town centres market which is set to decline 1.9%, propped up by essential product sectors namely food & grocery and health & beauty.

“While town centres accounted for over 40% of clothing & footwear spend in 2013, other locations which are better able to meet shoppers’ needs such as supermalls and retail parks, as well as the online channel, have tempted consumers away with high streets forecast to account for just 25.9% of spend by 2023.”

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