Brexit stockpiling reaches record high – While sales fall
Records have shown a year-on-year drop in sales volume for UK retailers – for the sixth consecutive month. This is the longest negative the UK has experienced since the financial crash over ten years ago. As a result stockpiling, which occurred due to the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, has reached record highs.
In a survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), UK retailers’ stock volumes in relation to expected sales have peaked, hitting its highest level since records began in 1983.
The majority of retailers (53%) considered their stock volumes as “high” with regards to expected sales, while the other 47% said theirs were “adequate”.
According to CBI, “A combination of the proximity to Christmas and ongoing Brexit uncertainty is likely to have driven stocks higher, particularly with retailers stocking seasonal products earlier than usual.
“Notably, the survey did not show a similar spike in retailing stocks ahead of the previous Brexit deadline in March.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said repeatedly that the UK would leave the European Union “no matter what” on October 31, fuelling fears of a no-deal departure, which likely influenced the level of stock retailers were ordering for the Christmas period.
However, Mr Johnson has now accepted a further extension to the Brexit date offered by the EU.
The pace of year-on-year decline in retail sales volumes slowed in the CBI’s latest survey but was nevertheless significant.
Burberry launches its first video game ‘B Bounce’
Burberry has become the latest brand to tap into the new eCommerce trend of creating video games for its customers.
B Bounce, a promotional online game, lets customers play as a small deer wearing one of three new Burberry puffer jackets.
The incentive for players is simple – reach 15000 meters in the game, and win a real puffer jacket from the new collection, which is worth over £1000.
“What we didn’t want to do was have this long list of things you need to know to play this game,” Burberry’s vice president of digital marketing Rachel Waller said.
“We thought about the behaviors of casual gamers as we created the concept. It’s really about building brand value around a product with a community that already exists.
“Secondly, it’s about surprise and delight storytelling. Gaming is the new frontier of storytelling – there’s a huge narrative here. There’s a great advantage to being able to surprise and delight your consumer with brand messages.”
The idea began after the Chinese market showed particular interest in video games, during a period where the firm had been experimenting with games.
Burberry is the latest brand to see the potential of video games as a marketing tool. Brands like Nike have been ahead of the curve, sponsoring some of the biggest eSports events around the world, while other brands have created their own video games.
Over half of Londoners willing to pay more for sustainable fashion
New research, published by online marketplace OnBuy, has reported that over half of London consumers are willing to pay more for an item of sustainable clothing.
The survey was carried out by KPMG, who asked 1000 Londoners to pick out the features they most associate with sustainable fashion.
It was also found that those who participated in the survey ranked ethical and fair trade/labor practices as the most important attributes involved in sustainable fashion.
After this, 31 percent said that not using hazardous chemicals in a pollution-free production process was a vital aspect of sustainable fashion.
The company also wanted to identify what would most encourage Londoners to pay more for sustainable clothing. They found that 29 percent are willing to search and shop for sustainable products, assuming the purchasing avenue available is reasonably convenient. Only 25 percent think about the environmental friendliness message that a brand advertises when considering increasing their purchasing intentions on sustainable fashion.
OnBuy found that Londoners search for “sustainable fashion” online over 1900 times per month.
“Sustainable fashion is now more than a fancy buzzword,” OnBuy chief executive Cas Paton said.
“Retailers are making a conscious effort to reduce the negative environmental impact different parts of their operations/processes may be causing.
“Likewise, brands are actively introducing various initiatives to encourage and help their customers to become more environmentally friendly.
“Despite this, people still have varying perceptions of what sustainable fashion truly is.
“This research certainly highlights the actions taken by brands which consumers most regard to be under the umbrella of sustainable fashion – with some very surprising outcomes.”