The Pool is launching a new commercial service for fashion retailers to help them drive sales both online and in-store at a time when high street fashion is facing a downward spiral.
The service, dubbed The Street, includes a combination of content, bespoke email, influencers and pop-up events. The initiative will be led by The Pool's fashion partnerships director Melanie Hearn.
Content will appear in The Pool’s fashion channel rather than having its own section on-site, with content timed to drop at some of the key times the publisher has identified for shopping, including lunch time and after work.
It follows a number of campaigns run by The Pool this spring for fashion retailers including shopping events for Warehouse, a pop-up store for online fashion retailer Hush and an influencer-led campaign for French Connection - helping it achieve its highest ever click-through rate, the publisher claims.
At its core The Street serves as a way to support fashion retailers who are looking to drive sales, something “they need right now”, said chief commercial officer Jo Morrell.
High street sales dropped 1.3% throughout May, while fashion stores were hit with a 3.6% fall in year-on-year figures, according to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker. It was the fourth month to see no in-store growth for fashion, suggesting a “worrying downward spiral” for clothing retailers, BDO said.
So severe is this drop that fashion retailer M&S saw its annual profits slide by nearly two-thirds (64%) in the year ended March as its clothing and homewares sales dropped by 5.9% in the first three months of 2017.
Morrell said: "There are common themes in our conversations with fashion retailers – how to get people in-store at lunchtime, how to drive more online sales, and in the case of online retailers, how to build a real brand presence for customers.
"We recognise that the high street is challenged and more competitive than ever, so our solution cuts through noise: quality content, edited choice, and an attractive customer offer. The Street gives fashion retailers a truly bespoke, commercially-focused solution."
According to Morrell, the segment of The Pool's audience that loves the high street fashion brands is one of its fastest growing, up +144% year on year, with over a third of them in the market to make a purchase, she claims.
The launch of The Street follows the appointment of This Girl Can architect Tanya Joseph as chair earlier this year.