Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

Fashion has never been faster, and both Missguided and Fashion Nova are prime examples. But question is: which brand is leading in this fast fashion race?

Written by Ashley LooiNovember 12, 2019


According to Forbes, the relentless fast fashion industry has slowed in recent months, believed to be the outcome of major consumer shifts.

There have been warnings of  a “retail apocalypse” for major brick-and-mortar retailers as discussed by Business Insider, with Forever 21’s filing for bankruptcy blamed on the growth of e-commerce. H&M also announced the closure of 160 stores earlier this year, after deep discounting to drive out more than $4 billion in unsold inventory.

Increasing awareness on environmental issues and sustainability are also impacting the fast fashion industry adversely. Research by Global Fashion Agenda revealed that more than 50% of consumers would transition to other brands if offered environmentally and socially conscious options.

Rising above these challenges, Missguided and Fashion Nova are the two fashion giants that continue to gain popularity, driven by demands from consumers at the other extreme. These ultra-fast fashion brands are online-centric with only a handful of brick-and-mortar stores, yet manage to offer hundreds of new styles weekly.

In this report, more than 100,000 data points were analysed online from January to September 2019 on Missguided and Fashion Nova, to compare and define their successes within newness.

content image-2 Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

New-In vs. Sell-Out Analysis

Sell-Out Performance

Despite having a higher median price, Missguided managed to outperform Fashion Nova in terms of sell-out at 67% with half the SKU count. Despite having a high percentage of discounted products, Missguided still pulled off a high sell-out rate at full price – 82% compared to Fashion Nova’s 72%.

A larger SKU count with lower pricing does not determine the success of a brand, as proven by Missguided’s strategy.


Campaign Releases

Fashion Nova launched its Summer 2019 campaign entitled “Pack Your Bags, NovaBabe!” in May, which drove the spike in sales as represented in next page’s chart.

Around the same time, Missguided released its “almost free-kini” in June, priced at precisely £1[1]. The campaign caused a big uproar and Missguided received backlash for the unsustainable practice behind it.






Note: [1] Subscribe to Omnilytics dashboard to access the module

content image-3 Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

New-In vs. Sell-Out Movement

Both brands launched a steady volume of newness in Spring/Summer before dipping in June.

Missguided had a relatively stable SKU count over the same period, while newness continued to decline for Fashion Nova throughout the end of Summer and into Fall.  This signaled an over-stocking situation for Fashion Nova, especially when sell-out experienced sharp fluctuation in Spring/Summer before stabilising after June.

Meanwhile, Missguided had good sell-out in Spring/Summer, peaking in the month of June.

content image-4 Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

Top Categories

The two brands had a combined new-in SKU count of 50,176 with a diverse assortment selection.

Top 5 apparel categories with the most newness:

  1. Dresses
  2. Tops
  3. Jumpsuits & Playsuits
  4. Outerwear
  5. Co-ords


Top 3 non-apparel categories with the most newness:

  1. Jewellery
  2. Shoes
  3. Eyewear


Co-ords overtook Pants & Leggings, with the latter usually entering top 5 categories. The co-ord looks took off following back from celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Priyanka Chopra. The trend has also expanded beyond the smart tailored look and now includes crop tops with matching skirts and shorts.

content image-5 Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

Key Subcategories

New-in Assortment by Subcategory for Apparel

Missguided had a large contribution of Bodycon Dresses, amounting to 21% of the Dresses category, followed by Cami Dresses and Wrap Dresses at 13% and 8% respectively.

The main volume driver for both brands in Tops was Bodies, taking up 28% of Fashion Nova’s contribution and 34% of Missguided’s. Bodies rose in popularity following the launch of Kim Kardashian’s new shapewear line, SKIMS. Additionally, beige has been trending since appearing in Spring/Summer 2019 runways. The runner-up for newness in the Tops category was Crop Tops.


New-in Assortment by Subcategory for Non-Apparel

In the Shoes category, the subcategories with high newness were Heels, Sandals & Flip Flops and Boots. Barely-there was a popular style within the Sandals subcategory.

Over 70% of the new products in Jewellery were Earrings and Necklaces. Most of the new-in products for the period were statement jewellery with large hoops and chunky chains.

content image-5 Battle of the Brands: Missguided vs. Fashion Nova

This is an excerpt of the report.
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Meet the Author

Ashley Looi

Ashley Looi combines her major in econometrics with her interest in fashion to help brands and retailers uncover actionable insights. She currently produces in-depth reports on the fashion industry and its changing retail scene across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Southeast Asia.

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