Islamic Lifestyle

U.S., Europe retailers reject burkini ban effect on sales

The recent burkini ban on three French beaches may not have affected sales of the swimsuit.

While Australian modest swimwear brand Ahiida said its sales rose due to the recent bans, other retailers, in the U.S. and Europe, told us a different story.

The recent burkini ban on the French beaches of Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubert and Corsica has resulted in an increase in sales of Australian modest swimwear brand Ahiida, the company’s founder Aheda Zanetti told Reuters in a report on August 24.

In response to the question about whether there had been an “Olympic effect” on sales, Zanetti earlier told Salaam Gateway in an email on August 19, “Unfortunately there has been no difference in sales due to the Olympics but sales have increased due to the negative issues in France.”

Ahiida was founded in 2004 and the company owns the trademarks for the words ‘burkini’ and ‘burqini’.

Zanetti did not respond to Salaam Gateway’s queries on how much sales have increased and how the company has attributed this surge to the French ban.

U.S.-based modest swimwear and fashion retailer Alsharifa told Salaam Gateway that while the company has seen a recent uptick in sales it is unable to attribute this to a particular event or incident.

Alsharifa founder Kelly Lynn Alsharif told Salaam Gateway in an email on August 24, “On the issue of sales spike after the recent partial French ban, I read in the news related reports from other Muslim swimwear sellers, we disagree with the notion that the ban produced higher than usual spike in sales because the ban event coincided with other sales cycles.”

Alsharif said the end of summer has contributed to the cyclical spike as families hit the waters before their children head back to school.

“It is very difficult to attribute the cyclical rise to one cause especially if you check out all the swimsuit vendors, none of them surveys the driver behind purchases at the end of each transaction,” said Alsharif.

“We will be happy to run a survey and send it to the recent buyers from us and collect some metrics to establish a correlation,” she added.

Founded in 2006, Alsharifa sells primarily online and its biggest markets are the United States, followed by Canada and the EU/UK, according to Alsharif.

She pointed out that the market for modest swimwear has grown rapidly in recent years.

“Even if there was a rise in sales, there was an even bigger rise in competition whereby new revenue is distributed across a wider number of businesses. The last two years have seen a high number of new entrants into this market especially competitors in mainland China, the UK, Turkey, and Israel,” said Alsharif.

Over in Europe, Jessica Robinson, the regional commercial director of UK-based modest sportswear company Shorso earlier told Salaam Gateway that it saw an increase of 40 to 60 percent in its sales. She attributed this increase to the Olympics and Eid being busy times for the company.

“In regards to the partial burkini ban in France, our sales are still strong and have increased over the summer period,” Robinson said in an email on August 25.

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