Kate Middleton’s favourite brand LK Bennett is among British High Street chains who have set up shop on eBay after being left with ‘dead stock’ due to lockdown
- Retailers heading online to shift ‘dead stock’ because shops shut in lockdown
- eBay claims four in every five items sold on its site are unused – some new season
- Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, Jack Wills, Crew Clothing and Seasalt among brands offering both full-price and discounted goods on eBay since March
- LK Bennett launched eBay store where Kate’s Floret court shoes are reduced
Fashion brands are flocking to eBay to shift ‘dead stock’ after their stores were forced to close due to lockdown.
LK Bennett, a favourite of Kate Middleton, is among some of Britain’s best-known clothing retailers who have set up shop on the auction website’s brand outlet.
Among the items the fashion house has listed for sale are its Floret court shoes – worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in a nude patent leather – which are reduced from £195 to £59.
Other High Street favourites that have been using the online marketplace to clear both full price and reduced stock since March, when the first coronavirus lockdown hit, include Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Crew Clothing, Jack Wills and Seasalt, reports the Sunday Times.
LK Bennett, a favourite of Kate Middleton, is among some of Britain’s best-known clothing retailers who have set up shop on eBay. Pictured: Kate, 38, in a £250 elegant scarlet Cayla gown from LK Bennett which she first wore to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2015 (shown) and has since recycled
Adidas, Mountain Warehouse, Trespass and Under Armour are among sports and leisure brands also listed on the outlet.
According to eBay, four out of five items sold on its website are new – which includes items of clothing from the current season.
It’s become hotspot for brands to clear out excess stock which has resulted from shops closing amid the pandemic and reduced demand from customers.
LK Bennett shoppers have previously complained its clothes became too expensive once the Duchess of Cambridge started wearing them. The brand went into administration last year but was saved – but lost 15 of its stores.
Many fashion houses are currently battling with warehouses brimming with summer season items which need to be shifted to make way for the latest lines.
Among the items the fashion house has listed for sale are its Floret court shoes – worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in a nude patent leather – which are reduced from £195 to £59
Other High Street favourites that have been using the online marketplace to clear both full price and reduced stock since March, when the first coronavirus lockdown hit, include Dorothy Perkins, Wallis, Crew Clothing, Jack Wills and Seasalt
Clothing sales remain 12.7 per cent below its February results, according to Office for National Statistics figures last month – though September did see a spike of 5.5 per cent.
And with virtual gatherings set to replace traditional Christmas parties and gatherings this festive season, retailers face the additional stress of decreasing demand for formal and party wear.
Murray Lambell, manager of eBay UK, told the publication: ‘Marketplaces are an efficient way for retailers to shift excess or last-season stock, a problem that’s become all too apparent as non-essential businesses were forced to close.’
Richard Lim, chief executive of research firm Retail Economics, added: ‘Many retailers lost their main way to reach customers when their shops shut.
‘Larger retailers, such as John Lewis and Next, have spent decades investing in their websites so they could cope much better with the shift to customers shopping online.
‘But thousands of mid-size retailers haven’t invested huge sums of money into their websites and they do not have the IT infrastructure and servers to cope with the online demand, so they are using eBay.’
LK Bennett shoppers have previously complained its clothes became too expensive once the Duchess of Cambridge started wearing them (pictured in August 2016)
LK Bennett is reportedly considering closing five of its retail outlets. It joined eBay three months after the Bicester Village outlet centre in Oxfordshire closed its doors in the first lcokdown.
Marks and Spencer held a large half price sale to clear stock, with some of the proceeds going to NHS charities, while Next is ‘hibernating’ some of its clobber until next year.
A record number of UK shops closed during the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
One expert said 2020 had been ‘arguably the most challenging in recent history’.
It comes as more than 200,000 jobs have already been slashed in a bloodbath of jobs brought on by the pandemic.
Jaeger and Peacocks owner Edinburgh Woollen Mill became the latest high street names to announce closures last month, saying it will close 50 stores in the latest blow to the high street during the coronavirus pandemic.