Women's fashion and men's beauty brands get sales boost from Love Island

Reality TV show Love Island seems to have fuelled an overall shopping boom this summer, proving to be a bright spot for both fashion and beauty as its official sponsor brands and others rode the wave of a particular, heavily-groomed and overtly sexy style favoured by contestants on the show.


Love Island

Sponsor Missguided, as well as Boohoo and its PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal labels that featured in the series, saw a double-digit rise in traffic online over Love Island’s two-month run, data from Hitwise shows.

Missguided’s 97% increase in online visits from Love Island fans over the duration of the series contrasted with a 9% rise in traffic from the general public in the same period. Boohoo’s rise was 75% and young business Shein saw fan visits up 117% but general public visits rising ‘only’ 30%.

Interestingly, while high summer traditionally sees a dip in online fashion activity, Love Island was a major site traffic catalyst and helped drive interest generally, although fast fashion pureplays seemed to benefit the most, rather than omnichannel stores with a high street presence. 

“Television shows, like Love Island, have been an effective springboard for fast fashion brands to grow throughout the summer," said Lisa Luu, global head of insights at Hitwise. “The success of Missguided and Shein in the past two months show that audience-based marketing never takes a rest. These fast fashion brands have been able to capitalise on the mega-popular show, capturing the latest consumer trends through replica fashion items and relevant content.

“With a number of household brands failing to see online and offline growth, it’s crucial to keep tabs on target audiences’ needs and interests, in order to stay relevant in the current retail climate.”

That said, it’s clear that the brands seeing spikes linked to Love Island are also doing very well without its impact. In H1 overall, Shein was the fastest-growing fast fashion brand with a rise in visits of 744%, followed by Oh Polly (+446%) and Nasty Gal (+158%).

Meanwhile, Kantar Worldpanel also said that the show has fuelled an increase in the men’s beauty sector with male skincare sales rising 16% in the 12 weeks to August 12.

“Love Island not only tugged on shoppers’ heartstrings but also their purse strings,” said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

The figures hardly come as a surprise after Superdrug, another show sponsor, heavily promoted the products that it said “the Love Island boys will be using all summer” with items ranging from beard oil to whitening charcoal toothpaste, volcanic cleansers and more.

The company’s parent firm AS Watson in July unveiled sharply rising profits, helped by the Superdrug-Love Island link-up that has been running for two years.

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