Which UK fashion retailer has seen the most growth 2015 – 2019?

Using search data and Google UK search analytics we’ve assessed the retailers experiencing the steepest search volume growth and decline in the UK, between the years of 2015 – 2019.

We answer the questions:

  • What’s the most popular UK fashion brand or retailer online?
  • Which retailer/brand is the fastest growing in the UK?
  • Which type of fashion retailer is the most popular in the UK?

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UK fashion retail brand growth 2015 – 2019

Analysing single term brand searches for 972 fashion retailers, across the following categories:

  • Fast fashion
  • Department store
  • Clothing brand/retailer
  • Sports/ outdoor wear
  • Designer
  • Footwear
  • Lingerie
  • Children’s

…we’ve created a compelling search volume bar chart.

Top 20 fashion retailers growth 2015 – 2019

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Fast fashion retailers do particularly well online, making up at least half of the 20 retailers shown in this bar chart race at any time. Despite recent coverage of Asos’ set backs, they begin 2019 as the most searched fast fashion retailer and third overall retailer for just searches of their brand name.

The biggest sporting retailer as of Q1 2019 was Sports Direct, only joined in the top 20 by JD Sports.

Next is only knocked from its top spot twice by John Lewis in Q4 2015 and Q4 2017; presumably this is a result of their hotly anticipated Christmas advert boosting their brand visibility during this period.

Amazon have been excluded from this chart as they do not solely operate in the fashion retail arena.

Factors affecting brand growth

From influencer coverage to positive or negative press, a brand’s vanity search volume has the potential to be affected by multiple external factors, beyond just its level of search optimisation.

For example, a brand may well receive an influx of searches from negative press, but is unlikely to be triumphing financially as a result of this.

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Designer Fashion Brands

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Search volume by fashion category in the UK 2015 – 2018

The below chart visualises search volume for retailer/brand names split into their fashion retail category.

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Overall retail search volume has fallen 2015 to 2018

All categories have seen some fluctuations, but we can see that the combined search volume has fallen by 4mn from 2015-2018. This could be due to a number of factors, for example the increased use of in-app buying.

Fast fashion (pink) has by far the most search volume throughout the 3 year period examined here. Will the sustainability trend and ‘slow fashion’ soon contribute to the decline of fast fashion in search and elsewhere?

Category percentage change 2015 – 2018

Search volume change by fashion category in the UK 2015 - 2018

Amazon as a retailer

Amazon (blue) is included here to highlight how large its search volume is in comparison to fashion retailers. Amazon has branched into many verticals, offering a vast product range – no single retailer comes close to competing with this.

In fact, Amazon’s overall search volume across the 3 years only lags behind all the combined retailers in the department store category by 29mn.

2018 UK fashion retailer search volume by category

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If we just focus on 2018, we can see seasonal peaks; for example all categories except fast fashion peak in December. Department stores see the most uplift in December 2018 with an 18% increase from November.

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Designer Fashion Brands

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The fastest growing UK fashion retailers by category

Below is a break down of each fashion retail category and their 5 largest growing brands in search.

The fastest growing UK fashion retailers by category

The retailers turning to search to inform brand partnerships, and the brands assessing their own search performance and competitors online, will be the ones succeeding commercially.

Combining search and social data sets for brand value

Combining datasets enables you to get a broader view of your brand’s growth.

In this example, we can see the growth of the brand ‘I Saw It First’ on both Social and Search between 2017 – 2018.

Here, Brandwatch’s social data tracks the brands mentions on twitter, whereas Pi’s data tracks searches for the brand in Google UK.

I SAW IT FIRST social data

I SAW IT FIRST Search data


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These data sets directly corollate, further revealing the rising strength of this brands value.

Having this data at your fingertips is essential to validating growth, and enables you to prove the equity of your brand.

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