Shaking off some stores will reduce costs but shoppers unlikely to rush back to Monsoon

Monsoon Accessorize has been bought out of administration by its founder Peter Simon.

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

“Like many other clothing specialists, Monsoon Accessorize’s store portfolio has been a costly burden that its pre-pack administration will enable it to slim down, allowing it to become a more agile retailer with a greater focus on online. Following recent store closure announcements from Debenhams, along with Laura Ashley and Oasis and Warehouse, the news will be another blow to retail landlords who have found their properties plummeting in appeal (and value) in recent months.

“Monsoon Accessorize was one of numerous retailers looking unsteady on its feet prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with its CVA launched in July 2019 not enough on its own to secure the long term future of the business. Clothing & footwear is set to be the worst hit retail sector by the crisis with spend forecast to fall over 30% this year and Monsoon’s focus on occasionwear has left it particularly exposed to the slump in demand. A significant proportion of Monsoon’s range is designed with weddings and other special occasions in mind and with social gatherings on hold for the time being, it is at a disadvantage and cannot leverage other categories like loungewear and activewear, as other clothing specialists have done.

“Prior to the crisis Monsoon was gradually becoming less relevant in the UK clothing & footwear market, with the brand lacking appeal and facing increased competition from emerging players such as Sosandar, Mint Velvet and Hush – making customer acquisition and driving loyalty a challenge. While store closures will reduce the retailer’s costs marginally reducing the pressure on sales when branches can reopen from next week, Monsoon is unlikely to be a retailer that clothing shoppers rush back to. With social distancing set to remain throughout 2020, special occasions will be pushed back and Monsoon will struggle to encourage spend.” 

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