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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's fashion market has suffered its steepest decline in sales since 2009 as consumers increasingly spend their money elsewhere, according to industry data published on Monday.
Retail industry executives including Next's (NXT.L) chief executive, Simon Wolfson, reckon there has been a cyclical move away from spending on clothing back into areas that suffered the most during the economic downturn, such as eating out and travel.
Researcher Kantar Worldpanel said data for the year to Sept. 25 showed that UK fashion has seen four months of consecutive sales decline, with nearly 700 million pounds lost from the value of the market from this time last year.
It said June's decline of 0.1 percent was the first monthly contraction in six years.
"Fashion retailers are still following the same patterns of over-buying and deep discounting and consumers are increasingly reluctant to pay full price," said Glen Tooke, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.
“Most recently the decline has been driven by falling frequencies of buying, giving retailers fewer opportunities to encourage shoppers to part with their cash."
Earlier this month a survey from BDO, the accountancy and business advisory firm, said Britain's fashion retailers suffered a slump in sales in September as unseasonably warm weather deterred sales of autumn and winter collections.
Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Greg Mahlich