Today marks the start of Belfast Fashion Week, dubbed as Ireland’s leading fashion extravaganza
Now in its eighth year, Belfast Fashion Week showcases the talents and wares of many indigenous retailers and designer boutiques in Northern Ireland. Sponsored by West Coast Cooler, the annual fashion festival of catwalk shows and style master classes will close on the 18th March with the ‘Style Sunday’ finale.
From Fashion Designs to the Web Designs of Northern Ireland's Fashion Retailers
As well as adopting the traditional off-line marketing approach of promoting themselves at trade events such as Belfast Fashion Week and its associated PR, a closer look has revealed that many of these local Northern Ireland retailers are also aware of the importance of marketing themselves online - a retailer’s online shop window is its doorway to the world!
Amongst those representing Belfast retailers are Blush bridal boutique, bespoke headwear designer, Grainne Maher Millinery, special occasion wear boutique, Jourdan and designer clothing outlet, Yoke.
Flying the flag for local retailers South of Belfast is Hillsborough Fashion Boutique Candy Plum, Banbridge boutique, Diamond Dolls and The OUTLET Village Banbridge as well as clothing collections from Maria Cárdenas.
North of Belfast, Logans Fashions of Cloughmills, Larne based clothing, footwear and accessories retailer selling UK wide, Notario, Antrim Hosiery retailer, The Right Tights and Londonderry Floral Designer & Milliner, John Paul.
High Street Retail Struggles as Online Retail Booms
In the last few months we have heard about the closure of outlets in Northern Ireland’s high street fashion stores such as Peacocks and A-wear. A recent news feature in The Telegraph also reported that “Britain's high streets lost 14 stores a day last year as retailers struggled to contend with cash-strapped consumers and the surge in internet shopping.”
In our recent e-commerce statistics blog feature, we revealed that a total of £68bn was spent online in 2011 which resulted in an annual increase of 16% in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sale Index.
Fashion e-commerce is on the increase in the UK as many of the larger players in the retail sector avail of the lower overheads that an online store can offer. Today, Internet Retailing reports French Connection’s plan to invest more into their e-commerce website and reduce their number of high street stores following a difficult Winter of trading.
Although we’d hate to see our local talent abandon our high streets, it would be great if many of Northern Ireland’s indigenous retailers would take the next step by developing not just an online shop window but online shops.
Online Yankee Candles retailer and e-commerce client of The Web Bureau, Yankee Store Ltd has used its online marketing success to support growth in the number of its high street stores.
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