The oversupply in the UK clothing market (MW July 12) has come at a time when too few retailers are willing to take a risk and differentiate. If you look at the retailers that are doing well in the UK – Ikea and Matalan, for example – you start to see that differentiation is key. Daring not to be all things to all people and accepting that some customers will dislike your offer may be painful, but there’s no other choice in such a competitive market.
When you open a store you have to take sales from someone else, so this requires clear segmentation of a customer base with offers that customers can identify with. This is why the middle-market clothing retailer has suffered so much in recent years and brands such as Matalan and fcuk have been so successful. For them, daring to be different is paying off.