Clothing Retailing - UK - October 2009
There is more choice than ever before in the UK’s clothing mass-market. But it has been dominated by price for much of the last ten years, as cheaper sourcing from the Far East has facilitated the growth of value retailers.
This has increased competition and squeezed the middle-market players. And with youth unemployment rising fast, competition looks set to continue revolving around price for the foreseeable future.
This will exert further downward pressure on retailers’ margins and inhibit their ability to invest in new initiatives and stores. Not only that but it will make it hard for retailers to pass on the full price increases on imported goods.
But there is a glimmer of hope for the mid/upper mass market players. Over one in ten people in a survey commissioned especially for this report say they will spend more on clothing in the year ahead. But this figure rises to 22% of the ABC1 pre-/no family lifestage – a group that is less economically challenged and is more likely to be influenced by quality rather than low prices.
How has the recession changed consumers’ shopping habits for clothing and are there key differences by demographic group?
Who have the retail winners and losers been as a result?
How have the under 25s, a key group for fashion, responded to the downturn and will their shopping habits change as youth unemployment rises.
How are the UK’s future demographic trends likely to impact the clothing market?
What are consumer’s future spending intentions on clothes?
How have clothing specialists performed relative to non-specialist competition and what part did the Internet play in this?
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