Amazon is quietly dominating the UK’s clothing market

Amazon is slowly but surely taking over the UK clothing industry, according to an industry note by UBS.

The investment bank says that the online retail giant is taking a bigger share of the UK clothing market than most people realise.

In a customer survey, UBS found that around 35% of respondents had purchased clothes from Amazon in the last six months, with only Marks & Spencer recording a higher figure. Meanwhile, discount chain Primark is a distant third, with a 1% decline in like-for-like sales according to the note.

The shift is so significant that UBS has proclaimed a “new order” in British retail, one that Amazon is dominating.

Amazon quietly launched its own clothing lines in February but the bulk of sales come from the thousands of third-party products available to buy on the platform.

Here’s a chart of how many respondents bought clothes from Amazon in the last 6 months:

Amazon beating Primark

Even more telling are the stats for those under 35, which show Amazon as by far the most used clothing retailer in the last six months:

Under 35s amazon clothes

Amazon is gaining ground during a general slowdown in the UK clothing retail industry. UBS says sales were hampered by warmer than expected weather over the Christmas period and cold weather in March and April.

High street clothing chains BHS and Austin Reed recently filed for administration, putting thousands of jobs on the line. And despite a seemingly high number of respondents using Marks & Spencer in the past half year, CEO Mark Bolland quit in January after presiding over three and half years of falling sales in general merchandise.

Other nuggets from the UBS survey include the perception among shoppers that Primark is the cheapest retailer while Marks & Spencer is the least associated with low prices. Amazon came fifth in the same survey for cheapness, one place after Sports Direct.

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