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The global fashion business journal

Jun 16, 20247:17am

Fashion dodges Brexit’s impact: upward sales since 2016

Since the celebration of the referendum in 2016 until now, fashion sales in the United Kingdom have maintained an upward trend which this year has started to reduce.

Nov 16, 2018 — 10:00am

Fashion dodges Brexit’s impact: upward sales since 2016



British fashion sales, for now, dodges the impact of Brexit. Since the celebration of the referendum in 2016 until now, fashion sales in the United Kingdom have maintained an upward trend which this year has started to reduce. Between July 2016 and October 2018, the evolution of retail income in the sector has only dropped in eight occasions.

The agreement in principle between London and Brussels on the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union is convulsing British politics these days. Yesterday morning, the resignation of ministers and other high positions in the government have succeeded each other continuously. The Parliament’s instability also made the stock market and currency shiver, fearing an ultimate vote against the agreement. The 29th of March 2019, date for the disconnection, is getting closer by the day.


Fashion, a consumption good of short duration very sensitive to citizen’s levels of trust, answers fast to social and political crisis. In the specific case of Brexit, the figures of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) do not show as of today any worrying symptom regarding the sector’s evolution of retail sales.





In July 2016, right after the urns gave the go-ahead to the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, fashion sales in the country grew an interannual 3%, at current exchange rates and without correcting the calendar’s effects. Nevertheless, that summer, sales contracted a 1.9% in August and another 4.4% in September.

However, ever since October 2016, British fashion retail started an upward period which lasted for the next twelve months, having peaks of 8.3% scored in April 2017. Since October 2017, the rising trend was moderated with a new period characterised by ups and downs.


 So far this year, the evolution has been accentuated even more. The year started with four consecutive months registering step backs, with decreases of 0.5% in January, 2.4% in February, 3.3% in March and 3.5% in April. Between May and August, rises and drops succeeded each other alternatively, but two months of rises were followed in the months of September and October. Despite all that, the advancements of the last two months are quite far away from the escalations registered in 2017.





In spite of the last twelve month’s instability, Spanish fashion has continued to commit to the British market. Until August, the Spanish exports to the United Kingdom grew a 12%, reaching the 936 million euros. However, the European Union conjunct’s trend has been diametrically the opposite.


In the first eight months of the year, the European exports to the United Kingdom have collapsed a 10.5% compared to the same period last year, according to the data gathered by Icex. However, other countries have stepped back too, although in a lesser measure. Germany, for example, has dropped a 4%; France, reduced 8% and Spain has scored a low of 5.5%, to name a few.

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