Featured Oct 30, 2019 5 min read

The 5 categories and trends to bank on in post-Brexit Britain

We collected recent findings that reflect consumer spending habits and financial news to understand the impact Brexit will have on trends.

brexit consequences

Stockpiling, single market, scaremongering. In a sea of uncertainty driven headlines, we collect the most recent findings that reflect consumer spending habits and financial news to make sense of what impact Brexit will have on trends.

During these uncertain times, it's crucial to have reliable data to back up your buying decisions. Monitor how your fellow UK competitors adjust their assortments and pricing post-Brexit with EDITED’s retail decision platform.

1. Brits will be holidaying closer to home

The weakness of the pound, enhanced border controls, concerns around healthcare agreements - these are all deterrents that will see more Brits looking to home turf for their holidays - the latter there of more concern for older citizens. Fueling this further, Lonely Planet listed England as the second best destination for 2020 and the movement of consumers becoming more thoughtful about their travel and carbon footprint.

How to take action? Think about the Great British getaway. Products built out around this should be practical and comfortable - speaking to those who are adventuring around an island with unpredictable weather. Think basic jersey tops, simple lightweight knits, lightweight outerwear and rain jackets. 

2. People will be staying home more

In a similar vein, the rise of the staycation is nothing new. Taking time off work to stay in the comfort of one's own home is on the rise. People are just staying home more in general too. The MCA Insight reported a 2% drop in casual dining since the referendum vote. Retailers can speak to these consumers and offer products to help build that home and enhance the time spent there. There are three main areas of opportunity: homeware, loungewear and wellness.

We’re already seeing brands expand in the loungewear space. While menswear sees a modest 4% growth YoY, in womenswear there’s a 62% increase. MissPap is the top stockist with arrivals up 220%, while  similar brands boohoo and PrettyLittleThing are up 196% and 58%, respectively.

A number of retailers have already made strides in homeware. ASOS launched a line in February and H&M opened a flagship on Regent Street in April. Soft furnishings and plants are a great place to start.

Products like nail polish with low price tags, soared in the 2008 recession. Consider these and face masks as accessible offerings into the wellness space, proceeding with caution around CBD beauty as the high is wearing off.  

3. Spending more carefully

“In the short to medium term, what really impacts people's practical finances and arrangements is whether we leave the EU with or without a negotiated deal.” says Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert. While this is still up in the air, what's clear is that the noise around it has impacted consumer spending confidence - there was a 1.3% drop in retail sales through September. This will vary regionally too with jobs in various parts of the country at different risks following Brexit. Consumers will be more considerate of what they spend money on. Expect growth in essentials such as jerseys and investment pieces such as outerwear and denim, as these categories are timeless trends. Currently in the menswear market, the average price of a leather jacket is £128.47 and in womenswear it’s £100.

EDITED’s pricing functions can help benchmark the price of core and classic products against your competitors’ assortments. Find out how to make your buying processes smarter with EDITED here.

4. Nostalgia & yearning for yesterday

While political tensions and turmoil have ignited various types of activism, it conversely sees consumers leaning into nostalgic trends. Post-Brexit is going to heighten this sentiment which is already embedded into consumerism. The 90s have dominated the market in recent seasons and for Spring 2020 the decades to know per gender are the 70s and 00s for womenswear, and the 90s for menswear.

5. With or without EU blue

YouGov's most recent figures show that 6% more Brits think that leaving the EU is wrong versus those confident in the decision to exit. An estimated one million anti-Brexit campaigners descended on Westminster once again on October 20th. The crowd involved are notoriously good at a punny placard with a proud display of EU flags in the unmistakable blue.

How to Action? Already performing well in the UK mass market, PrettyLittleThing and Bershka have had products in this blue hue sell out in October, while EU blue is central to &Other Stories knitwear for this season.

For future seasons, the most literal way to take inspiration from the EU lines up with Spring 2020 presentations. This shade of blue emerged as a key tone over the recent runway shows.

Regardless of what happens post-Brexit, it’s best to mentally prepare your business for the worst yet hope for the best outcome. Already an EDITED user? Log in to read our Spring 2020 Color Overview in full where you’ll find out which designers backed EU blue.