Online fashion shopping is in, and when two of the major fashion names unveiled online sites recently, Western european clothing retail industry hit its pace - and elevated the standard for U.S. competitors like Abercrombie & Fitch Co and Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands Inc.
Spain's Inditex, which overtaken U.S.giant Gap Inc as the world's largest garments dealer by revenue recently, unveiled shopping on the web for their flagship Zara brand in September. Sweden's Hennes & Mauritz also established online presence.
"2011 will find online sales reaching a tremendous share of retail trade in most Countries in europe, with 7 cents in every euro being used on the internet generally," Kelkoo CEO Richard Stables stated during a release last month.
This might be not so good news for many U.S. outlets. U.S. niche stores focusing on 15-to-35-year-olds will probably be most affected, said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group.
"You need to be aware that the cake isn't becoming larger and larger. The greater pieces you place into the cake, the greater the competition," he stated.
Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret, each of which possess a powerful cachet abroad, will probably be amongst those to have the competing risk, particularly if newcomers selling price much more competently and dispatch quicker.