Royal Wedding fails to boost fashion indies

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was expected to send retail spending soaring by £195 million, but, independent fashion and apparel stores suffered a 24% decline in sales on Saturday, according to data from retail software firm Vend.



Independent fashion retailers suffered the worst drop from all independent retail outlets when compared to the previous weekend, followed by fitness centres (down 18%) as people opted to skip the gym and watch the nuptials instead, and home and lifestyle stores (down 15%).

Overall sales declined 8% for independent retailers, and spending decreased by 2%.

“The Royal Wedding may have caused bottles of bubbly to pop open around the country, but it was a total fizzer for our independent retailers,” said Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Vend.

“While shoppers in Manchester and Birmingham clearly stayed away from the shops to watch the big event, what about the people of Leeds? Perhaps they were spending up large in celebration, or perhaps the numbers tell us something different.”

Independent retailers reported increases in London, Bristol, Brighton and Leeds, with the latter enjoying a 19% boost. But Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester all saw decreases according to Vend.

Over the year, however, there is no doubt the event will lift fashion sales, as numerous outlets and consumers continue to monitor Meghan Markle’s daily fashion choices. This week, the Duchess of Sussex wore a £590 Goat dress that sold out within minutes of photos of the Duchess being released.

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