River Island’s Harpenne finished off by COVID-19 before it had a chance to get going

The clothing brand Harpenne, owned by River Island, has permanently closed less than a year after launching.

Sofie Willmott, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news;

“Still in its infancy and yet to build a loyal customer base, River Island owned Harpenne has permanently shut its website today. With well-established clothing brands including Oasis, Warehouse, Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley already victims of the COVID-19 crisis, their smaller and lesser known equivalents are under immense pressure and are at risk of not surviving the next few months as demand for clothing & footwear continues to plummet.

“Operating as an online pureplay as well as stocking its range on Next and John Lewis & Partners’ sites, Harpenne’s closure is evidence that selling via the online channel is not enough to safeguard retailers. Although online clothing & footwear spend will be better protected as non-essential stores remain closed, we still expect it to decline 7.9% this year when retailers have previously been able to rely on digital channels for growth.” 

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