The second quarter of 2020 was one of all fears. Paralyzed and confined, the French had frozen their consumption, in particular of fashion products. At the start of 2021, despite a third confinement, the desire returned. This is what the KantarXFashionNetwork barometer of fashion transactions noted in the second quarter.
Compared to last year, the Kantar study estimates that 180 million transactions were completed between early April and late June. This is 33 million more than the previous year. However, the panelist observed that the sector has not returned to the levels of 2019. If with 41 million customers, nearly four in five French people bought clothes, accessories or shoes over the period, 2 millions of consumers are missing from two years ago. Especially since consumers bought less. On average, each person made 4.4 online or physical purchases during the quarter, which is almost one less purchase compared to 2019. As a result, the number of transactions remains significantly lower compared to the second quarter of 2019. The The recovery, with the end of the third confinement, has mainly benefited specialized players, note the Kantar teams, in particular in relation to major food retailers.
Kantar notes, however, that the return of consumers to shoes and textiles has benefited players selling essential or very accessible products. The design office emphasizes that hard-discounters have established themselves in the top 25 sellers for a long time.
“Lidl is a fundamental trend, explains Hélène Janicaud, Fashion expert within Kantar’s Worldpanel division. Their clothing and footwear offer has benefited from the brand’s dynamic in France for several years. With its model, Lidl does not have a permanent offer but in particular made a nice marketing coup with the launch of a shoe in its colors. The brand is strong in certain segments such as footwear but also sporting goods, tops and denim with its own brands which achieve significant volumes. In this Hard Discount segment, Equities and Noz also have very strong positions. Action has achieved strong growth in its portfolio with 566 stores in France and offers an offer focused on footwear, underwear and linens. In footwear, it has become the second largest player in terms of volume, which has overtaken Carrefour and Auchan. And Action is on the way to dethrone Leclerc. The progress of these players is not cyclical. They mainly take market share from major food distribution players, who are currently wondering about the transformation of their model between a ‘cornerization’, such as Champion and Cora with C&A, where the entry of brands or local SMEs ” .
Among the main increases in the sector, between the first and the second quarter of the year, all the brands have a rather aggressive pricing strategy. For example Primark has experienced a significant jump with +21 places in the ranking of Kantar. The panelist notes that on average the five winners of the period have an average purchase price ranging from -80% to -25% of the average market price.
Fashion players are thus facing increasingly powerful competitors. Zalando and Amazon, which are rising in the rankings after a first quarter marked by critics, as well as the Chinese online brand Shein seem to be firmly established in the top 20 players in the sector. But it is above all Vinted and its model dedicated to the second hand which climbed last quarter on the third step of the podium of the main fashion sellers in France, behind Decathlon and Leclerc.
“We have been following the evolution of Vinted for three years and it had started long before the Covid-19 crisis, explains Hélène Janicaud. The platform has become essential. Over a year it has even become the market leader of the child in France and is taking more and more place in women’s ready-to-wear. Even babies are starting to develop for them. There is only the men’s ready-to-wear market that is resisting for the moment . But we see that initiatives and alternatives are multiplying “.
Faced with this development, Kantar notes the decline of brands such as Camaïeu and Zara, which are in 21st place in the volume sales ranking.
* The study is carried out on the basis of the weekly declarations of 12,500 individuals over the age of 15 and representative of the population, on the basis of the number of transactions declared for each brand (number of customers multiplied by their number of purchases on the observed period)
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