Primark’s announcement that it will raise prices later this year doesn’t mark the end of fast fashion.
The increases have nothing to do with the company funding an e-commerce site or launching a new business model to fend off competition from Shein, the $100 billion Chinese fashion company that’s bigger than H&M and Zara combined.
A spokesman for Primark, the international company with headquarters on Dublin’s Mary Street and part of Associated British Foods (ABF), said: “With inflationary pressures mounting and the dollar strengthening, we will be making selective price increases on some of our autumn/winter stocks. However, we aim to secure our price leader.
Ship and suitable for everyday use.”
Walking the aisles of the Mary Street flagship store – where the late Arthur Ryan founded Penneys in 1969 with his stack ’em up strategy – shoppers were stoic yesterday at the price hikes and logistical nightmares crippling supply chains to have. That headache has returned for retailers as new Covid lockdowns kick in in China.
Worth $68 billion in 2020, the global fast fashion industry works on volume, feeds on runway trends and loves cross-season looks for their durability.
Retail consultant Eddie Shanahan said the rise in inflation “will dampen consumption for now, but don’t hold your breath – fast fashion isn’t going away any time soon”.
“All the uncertainty in the world right now will impact consumer spending,” he added. “Nonetheless, people have been almost brainwashed into a pattern of constant consumption for decades, and it won’t be easily reversed.”
Referring to the magnitude of price increases in the fast fashion industry, Mr. Shanahan said, “We don’t actually know, and anyone who’s guessing is making a blind guess at this point.”
The burning question now is how other fast fashion brands like F&F at Tesco, Pep&Co at Dealz, H&M, Dunnes Stores, Zara and popular online brands like Boohoo and Asos could increase their prices.
Anne-Marie Tomchak, founder and CEO of sustainability tech company DesignTracker and co-founder of nonprofit circular fashion ShareJoy, said the data was already showing a slowdown in consumer spending.
Retail sales in the UK fell 1.4 percent last month, according to a survey conducted by McKinsey. Asos and H&M reported a slowdown in growth financial times.
Ms Tomchak pointed to the streaming wars, with people canceling their subscriptions and services like Netflix making huge strides in different markets.
She predicted it was inevitable that fashion would be affected in some way, although some consumers – in luxury markets, for example – would remain isolated from the cost-of-living crisis.
“I think it’s going to be interesting to see how consumers manage their discretionary spending,” she said.
“We’ve already seen a rise in the price of our energy bills, but once October comes around I think things will show up.”
Ms Tomchak added: “We will get a clearer picture of the impact on fashion and fast fashion in particular after the summer when energy prices will start to rise again and people will start to really feel the crisis.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/how-primark-price-hikes-arent-end-of-fast-fashion-but-high-street-likely-to-follow-trend-41591224.html How Primark price hikes are not the end of fast fashion but the high street is likely to follow the trend