Overseas interest in British fashion retailers is growing, according to an analysis of internet search terms.Chinese, Russian and French consumers are leading the demand for British brands, with a sharp rise in the number of searches for clothing retailers.The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google’s quarterly online monitor found that the number of overseas consumers searching for UK clothing retailers grew by 13pc in the first three months of the year. This is more than double the rate of growth for UK consumers looking for overseas brands, which rose 5pc.
Searches from China grew by 50pc, while Russian searches rose 42pc and France 27pc. Searches from the US grew by 10pc.The figures have been released as Marks & Spencer prepares to unveil its new-look website. The company has invested £150m into revamping its online offerings to compete with rivals such as John Lewis.M&S will host an event for the City on Thursday to outline the details of the new website, which is already being used by consumers. The BRC and Google data showed the strongest growth in online clothing searches was for jewellery, which rose 12pc year-on-year, and women’s clothing, which grew 10pc.
Helen Dickinson, director-general of the BRC, said the data highlighted the strength of online retailing in the UK.She said: “It’s particularly impressive to see the strength of women’s clothing brands and our department stores shining through in these figures.“This innovation and good use of new technology explains why the UK is now the world’s second biggest online retail exporter.“We will be working hard with government to help this growth continue and give retailers all the support they need to attract even more new customers from international markets.”
Data from Global Blue, which monitors global retail sales, found that there has also been an increase in spending by Thailand and Malaysia shoppers. It found that Thai spending grew 51pc in the London’s West End in 2013 compared to 2012, while Malaysian spending rose 40pc.
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