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Observations In Luxury

Seven in 10 UK fashion businesses ‘are currently exporting’

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It is, of course, not news to leading luxe branding specialists such as our own here at Skywire London, that fashion businesses in the UK are constantly on the lookout for solutions to assist in their growth. 

Nonetheless, many observers will be interested in reading the findings of a recent poll of 3,000 firms in the UK, as reported by 

The survey discovered that 70% of businesses in the fashion industry are presently exporting, and 72% of respondents anticipate that their export sales will go up over the coming 12 months. 

Meanwhile, 81% of firms in the fashion sector were reported as saying that exporting had brought improvements to their revenue. 

What else was discovered through the research into UK fashion-industry exporting? 

Fashion businesses in the UK certainly had a lot of positive things to say about exporting, according to the poll findings. 

81% of those questioned, for instance, claimed that exporting had made their business stronger, while 79% said exporting had fuelled innovation within their organisations. A similar proportion – 81% – stated that they had added to their headcount as a consequence of exporting, while for 77% of respondents, exports had relieved the pressure they experienced when doing business in the UK.

As for which export markets were considered most attractive by UK export businesses, North America was regarded as the biggest opportunity, being cited by 35% of those questioned. 

It was also notable, however, that a lot of firms were looking across the English Channel to the European Union (EU), which a third of the research participants said was the market with the greatest export potential, despite Brexit. 

The questioned fashion firms were also, however, aware of a range of potential challenges to their exporting efforts. When the businesses were asked to cite the export barriers they faced, a fifth (20%) mentioned supply chain and logistical issues, with the same proportion referring to heightened paperwork and red tape. 

Next up in the ‘rankings’ of the biggest export barriers among such businesses were a lack of cultural awareness or familiarity with the overseas market (19%); insufficient access to suitable export finance (19%); and a lack of demand for products in overseas markets (18%). 

For firms concentrating on international growth, as many as 69% of those questioned were reported as currently drawing upon online marketplaces as a route to improving their export sales. A third (33%) began working with a marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Finally, eight in 10 (80%) quizzed fashion businesses said that exporting had driven their organisation’s digital transformation. So, adopting such an outward outlook on what they do seems to have helped ambitious UK fashion businesses to “futureproof” themselves, too. 

Are you looking to work alongside digital and growth professionals for high-end brands? 

Here at Skywire London, we know a thing or two about bringing the essential components together for fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands that have their eye on more than simply domestic success. Indeed, our strategic digital agency has built a stellar track record in exactly this since 2004.   

So, why not get on the phone – or send an email – to our team of luxe branding specialists and strategic professionals, to help ensure you are making all the right moves for your own business during 2023 and for many more years ahead? 


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