COVID-19 SERVICE: We are heightening our efforts to assist the UK retail & leisure industry through this challenging period. Explore this service now… COVID-19 SERVICE

UK Clothing & Footwear Sector Report | Trends & Forecasts

April 2021

What's included in this report?

  • Market Share - top 10 Clothing & Footwear retailers
  • Clothing & Footwear Market size estimates (£m)
  • Sales Growth by category
  • Total Spending by category (£m)
  • Online Clothing & Footwear Sales (year-on-year)
  • Footfall by channel and region
  • Regional Weather data and more…

UK Clothing & Footwear Sector Report : April 2021

Access report with a free trial subscription

No payment required. Free for 30 days. Cancel anytime

Report Summary

Period covered: 01 Jan 2021 – 31 Jan 2021

Note: Reporting periods are either one month or two months behind the current month as standard.

Out of crisis comes opportunity

  • A third national lockdown decimated Clothing (-27.9%) and Footwear (-30.2%) sales.
  • Clothing & Footwear were once again the hardest hit sectors, being more reliant on physical touchpoints in the customer journey.
  • Reflecting the closure of non-essential stores, Online Clothing & Footwear sales penetration hit a record high of 56.1% in January.
  • As the Clothing sector consolidates, Online pure plays and Multichannel retailers are making opportunistic moves on distressed brands (e.g. Arcadia).

Market composition

  • The announcement of a third national lockdown on 4 January, which came into effect the following day, saw the closure of non-essential retailers once more.
  • A rapid rise in the number of infections caused by the newly identified Covid-19 strain caused anxiety amongst some shoppers.
  • Retail sales fell by 1.7% year-on-year in January, according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, NSA, ex. Fuel).
  • However, there was a significant shift towards online as consumers reverted seamlessly to lockdown shopping behaviour.

Permanent shift to online

  • There is a clear correlation with income – with wealthier households displaying the greatest propensity for permanent change. The highest income households are almost twice as likely to spend more online after the pandemic compared with the least affluent households.
  • 57% of consumers are either confident about their personal finances or have seen their personal finances improve due to the pandemic.

Consumers shift to supermarkets and online channels for lockdown clothing purchases

Source: ONS

Latest monthly UK Clothing & Footwear Sector Report

Report: January 2021 Retail sales rose by 0.8% in December, year-on-year, according to Retail Economics. Total online retail sales rocketed by 45.8% in December, value and non-seasonally adjusted, according to ONS. Shop price inflation edged down by 0... read more
Report: December 2020 Retail sales rose by 2.3% in November, year-on-year, according to Retail Economics. Total online retail sales rocketed by 79.6% in November, value and non-seasonally adjusted, according to ONS. Shop price inflation dipped by 1.2%... read more
View Archive

Need more insight on UK retail?

Try a FREE 30 day trial subscription

How it works
  • Free for 30 days, no payment details, cancel anytime
  • Create account and log into your retail insight dashboard
  • Download free retail economic and sector reports
  • Download thought leadership reports and presentations
  • Access time series data and much more…
Get insight with a FREE trial subscription

Trusted by

    Sainsburys Argos O2 Barclays Warner Bros Akznobel Sky British Land

Report Contents

UK Clothing & Footwear Sector Report Report
  • Executive Summary
  • Sector analysis
  • Clothing – Retail Economics Index
  • Footwear – Retail Economics Index
  • Online Clothing and Footwear – Office for National Statistics
  • By Size of Retailer – Office for National Statistics
  • Macro Factors
  • Consumers
  • Footfall
  • Labour market
  • Earnings
  • Costs, Prices and Margins
  • Weather Watch
  • Average Temperature
  • Average sunshine hours
  • Average Rainfall

3 reasons to use us


We help you save time and resources 

Data mining and interpretation is resource intensive. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can save time and concentrate on priorities


Get actionable insights from our reports

Our analysts write with business action points in mind so you can easily see how our insights translate into real world action 


We help you keep abreast key sector trends

Our monthly reports give you the very latest insights into the many fast moving trends within the clothing & footwear sector

About our reports and subscriptions

Retail Economics publishes monthly Retail Sector Reports for the UK Clothing and Footwear sector giving you actionable insights for your business.

It provides in-depth analysis of the latest macroeconomic and consumer trends affecting the Clothing and Footwear sector including market size estimates for: Women’s Outerwear, Men’s Outerwear, Children’s Clothing, Women’s Footwear, Men’s Footwear, Children’s Footwear, Women’s Underwear, Men’s Underwear, Women’s Accessories and Men’s Accessories.

Other popular retail reports

Top