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Childrenswear expected to be best performing sector in clothing this year

View from GlobalData gives potential boost for licensing industry, as Next, River Island, Quiz begin re-opening online stores.

The licensing industry could begin to see a benefit as key retailers such as Next begin to re-open online operations – with data and analytics company, GlobalData saying that childrenswear is the right focus for the retailer at the moment.

Next re-opened its online store earlier this week, having temporarily closed online operations on March 26 due to restrictions imposed by the government. The site is selling childrenswear and small homewares items only, restricting the numbers of orders it accepts each day.

And key for our industry is that Next enjoys successful collaborations with a number of licensed brands across its childrenswear offer. Brands on the site currently include Spider-Man, Captain America, PlayStation, Minions, Minnie Mouse, Disney Baby from Aden + Anais and Mickey Mouse among others.

Indeed, GlobalData believes that childrenswear will be the best performing sub-sector in clothing and footwear this year, as demand for adult clothing falls significantly.

“In a much better position to face the COVID-19 pandemic than many other clothing specialists given that over half of its sales are taken online, Next is wise to reopen its website now its warehouse staff can work safely, and childrenswear is the most logical product area to offer first given that the shorter lifespans of products continue to drive replacement purchases,” said Sofie Willmott, lead analyst at GlobalData. “We expect this to be the best performing subsector within clothing & footwear this year as demand for adult clothing falls significantly.”

Sofie continued: “Other clothing players that quickly closed their e-commerce operations to safeguard employees’ health should consider whether they can follow in Next’s footsteps by making their distribution centres safe to work in.

“There will be much less demand for some of the formal and occasionwear brands that have closed their online sites such as Moss Bros, Quiz and Paul Smith but others such as River Island and TK Maxx sell products that shoppers will want to buy such as loungewear, homewares and childrenswear.”

Indeed, River Island also re-opened its online store this week after temporarily closing warehouses in March – stating on its website ‘We’re not back to ‘business as usual’. That’s just not how the world is right now, but we’re trying’.

Similarly, Quiz and Fenwick has also now begun to accept new online orders.

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