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High street survivors to benefit from pent-up demand for offline purchases, says broker


Fashion retailers that have survived the COVID-19 crisis are expected to benefit from pent-up demand as consumers will appreciate the immediacy, social interaction and gratification of high street shopping.

They will have more chance to win market share over time, according to Shore Capital, as many competitors will have succumbed to the shift of online shopping and lockdown restrictions.

READ: boohoo builds towards UK’s largest marketplace after Arcadia’s brands acquisition but challenges will ensue

Physical retailers such as Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS), Next (LON:NXT) and Associated British Foods’ (LON:ABF) Primark will experience “a much-needed boost”, the broker said.

Following the demise of Topshop owner Arcadia and department stores chain Debenhams, they will gain more market share in the high street.

Online customers will be distributed among boohoo (LON:BOO), ASOS (LON:ASC) and Silkfred and emerging pure-play disruptors including Sosandar (LON:SOS) and Nobody’s Child.

John Lewis has also stepped up its game after securing collaborations with up to 50 fashion and beauty brands that add to its casualwear ranges, such as Mango, Ro&Zo, Aab Collection, Honey & Toast and Johnny Urban.

This trend of own-label retailers partnering with complementary third-party brands is forecast to continue as companies consolidate their market presence.

Tech platforms will also continue to have significantly higher equity capital valuation multiples than traditional bricks and mortar retailers.

“The UK physical clothing retailers will start to cycle very favourable comparatives from March 2020 when consumers essentially stopped shopping both offline and online as the effects of the Covid pandemic took hold,” analysts commented.

“We believe that like-for-like (LFL) sales in the short term will become less meaningful with the two-year stack being more relevant.”

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