High street sales frenzy: Struggling stores slash their prices by up to 90 per cent in a panic to win customers with deepest cuts in 15 years
- Debenhams, New Look and House of Fraser are among the stores slashing prices
- Cuts blamed on the warm early-autumn, fierce competition and online shopping
- Deloitte has said this autumn’s sales are ‘the deepest we have seen historically’
‘Panicked’ high street stores are slashing prices by up to 90 per cent in a desperate bid to win customers.
This year’s autumn sales offer the deepest price cuts for 15 years – and will be drawn out longer than the usual two-week period to last at least a month.
Debenhams, New Look, Jigsaw and House of Fraser are among the stores slashing prices to tempt shoppers through the door this week.
The cuts have been blamed on a warm early-autumn, fierce competition, online shopping and depressed consumer spending.
Debenhams, New Look, Jigsaw and House of Fraser are among the stores slashing prices to tempt shoppers through the door this week (pictured, a graphic showing some of the reductions on the high street)
Consultancy Deloitte, which collates high street data, said this autumn’s sales are ‘the deepest we have seen historically’.
Shoppers have traditionally been able to get 50 to 70 per cent off in the mid-season sales – which start in September.
But this year Debenhams – which last month announced it would close 22 stores – is offering discounts of 90 per cent, while House of Fraser and labels including Whistles and Jigsaw are advertising 70 per cent off on some items.
With Black Friday sales approaching on November 29, stores will now only sell products at full price for a few weeks before the post-Christmas sales begin, retail experts said.
Jason Gordon, of Deloitte, said: ‘The mid-season autumn sales did start earlier this year and they have run on for longer.
‘Whereas traditionally we might expect to see discounts between 30 and 70 per cent, over the last year we are seeing discounts anywhere between 10 and 90 per cent.’
This year Debenhams – which last month announced it would close 22 stores – is offering discounts of 90 per cent
Marks and Spencer was offering up to 90 per cent off at the end of its two-week sale, which finished last week. And John Lewis (pictured) is reducing some items by more than 50 per cent
Richard Hyman, an independent retail analyst, added: ‘It’s been a dreadful year and the most distressed retail market we’ve seen. Sales of 90 per cent shows panic and it’s damaging to brands.’
The latest sales figures suggest there is no end in sight for the High Street’s woes.
Figures from the British Retail Consortium show it was the worst September since 1995, when its records began.
Sales were down by more than 3 per cent between July and September this year on the same period last year. House of Fraser, which closed six stores last year after it was bought out of administration, offered discounts of up to 70 per cent this week, including a whopping £750 off a £1,500 Vivienne Westwood coat.
Marks and Spencer was offering up to 90 per cent off at the end of its two-week sale, which finished last week.
In Uniqlo, where some items are on sale for more than 60 per cent off, staff said: ‘We’re just constantly in sale mode now. It’s certainly been like that for the last two months.’
And staff at Urban Outfitters, where the price of some items were slashed by 75 per cent, said they had a sale on ‘all the time’.
Clive Black, retail expert at Shore Capital, said: ‘It’s a very tough market. We cut the fat and we’re getting to the skin and bone of the High Street.’