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Consumer Attitudes Towards Luxury Brands - UK - November 2011

“Within the dynamic clothing category, the worlds of high-end fashion and fast fashion have never been so intertwined, with the boundaries separating them becoming increasingly hazy. Consumers are broadening their retail scope, and mixing top-end designer pieces with mid-market and value garments. A flurry of designer and high street collaborations has burst onto the retail scene, with shoppers jumping at the rare opportunity to get designer pizzazz at affordable prices.”

– Emma Clifford, Fashion and Clothing Analyst

Some questions answered in the report include:

  • Who buys luxury brands?
  • Which features do brands need to be considered ‘luxury’?
  • How is the luxury clothing market performing?
  • Is the boundary between luxury and mainstream within the clothing market blurring?
  • What are the main factors boosting the premium clothing market?
  • How are multiple media channels being used within the luxury clothing market?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Market factors
                • Ageing population presents a challenge
                  • Figure 1: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-16
                • Socio-economic shifts present opportunities
                  • Figure 2: Forecast growth of the UK population, by socio-economic group, 2006-11 and 2011-16
                • The consumer
                  • Quality and exclusivity are the constituent elements of luxury
                    • Figure 3: Definitions of a luxury brand, by gender, July 2011
                  • High price and designer labels define luxury for under-25s
                    • Young women associate customisation with luxury
                      • Two thirds of adults buy luxury brands
                        • Figure 4: Views on shopping for luxury brands, September 2011
                      • Four in ten are premium bargain hunters
                        • Men are most willing to pay the full retail price
                          • Older shoppers and Es eschew luxury goods
                            • The feelgood factor associated with luxury items stimulates sales
                              • Figure 5: Motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by gender, September 2011
                            • Over-55s and ABs look for quality and extra features
                              • The younger generation make image-driven ‘tribal’ luxury purchases
                                • Clothing is the top luxury purchase
                                  • Figure 6: Categories in which luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by gender, September 2011
                                  • Figure 7: Consumers buying luxury clothing, by age, socio-economic group and working status, September 2011
                                • 25-34s are the main purchasers of non-clothing luxury goods
                                  • Department stores dominate within the luxury sector
                                    • Figure 8: Retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, by socio-economic group, September 2011
                                  • Under-25s are attracted to designer stores
                                    • Guilty consciences impede spending
                                      • Figure 9: Attitudes towards designer brands, September 2011
                                    • Half of shoppers shun obvious designer imagery
                                      • Exclusivity and advertising is important for young shoppers
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues in the Market

                                            • Who buys luxury brands?
                                              • Which features do brands need to be considered ‘luxury’?
                                                • How is the luxury clothing market performing?
                                                  • Is the boundary between luxury and mainstream within the clothing market blurring?
                                                    • What are the main factors boosting the premium clothing market?
                                                      • How are multiple media channels being used within the luxury clothing market?
                                                      • Future Opportunities

                                                          • Trend: Make it Mine
                                                            • Trend: Prove It
                                                            • Internal Market Environment

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Spending on womenswear
                                                                  • Figure 10: Annual expenditure on womenswear, 2007-11
                                                                • Spending on menswear
                                                                  • Figure 11: Expenditure on menswear, 2007-11
                                                                • Under-25s are most image-conscious
                                                                  • Figure 12: Attitudes towards appearance, by gender and age group, 2011
                                                                  • Figure 13: Attitudes towards appearance, 2007-11
                                                                • Demand for designer clothes peaks among 15-24s
                                                                  • Figure 14: Consumers wearing designer clothes, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2011
                                                                  • Figure 15: Consumers who think that wearing a ‘designer’ label improves a person’s image, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2011
                                                                • Longevity is important
                                                                  • Figure 16: Selected attitudes towards fashion and clothing, by gender and socio-economic group, 2011
                                                                • The young generation are avid followers of fashion
                                                                  • Figure 17: Consumers who wear just anything and don’t worry about it vs. those who like to keep up to date with the latest fashions, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2011
                                                                  • Figure 18: Trends in attitudes towards fashion and clothing, 2007-11
                                                                • Style versus comfort
                                                                  • Figure 19: Consumers who buy clothes for comfort, not for style, vs. those who care more about style and attractiveness than quality, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2011
                                                                • Under-25s are big spenders
                                                                  • Figure 20: Attitudes towards buying clothing, 2007-11
                                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • ABs to boost market
                                                                    • Figure 21: Forecast growth of the UK population, by socio-economic group, 2006-11 and 2011-16
                                                                  • C2s are aspirational buyers
                                                                    • Ageing population presents a challenge
                                                                      • Figure 22: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-11
                                                                      • Figure 23: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-11 and 2011-16
                                                                    • Rise in 25-34s counters the decline in under-25s
                                                                      • Decline in UK residents travelling abroad
                                                                        • Figure 24: Number of overseas visits by UK residents, by region visited, 2003-10
                                                                      • Youth unemployment continues to breach record highs
                                                                        • Figure 25: Number of unemployed 16-24s in the UK, January-August 2011
                                                                      • Under-25s are most optimistic about their finances
                                                                        • Figure 26: Current financial situation, by age, June 2011
                                                                      • Turbulence in the eurozone but UK GDP growth stronger than expected
                                                                        • Figure 27: Trends in GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q2 2011
                                                                      • Consumer confidence remains in deep negative territory
                                                                        • Figure 28: Trends in consumer confidence, January 2008-September 2011
                                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                      • Strengths
                                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Designer brands flock to London
                                                                              • Multiple media advances
                                                                                • Customisation spurs individuality
                                                                                  • Designer collaborations make luxury brands accessible
                                                                                    • Retailers branching into more premium lines
                                                                                      • Online price promotions
                                                                                        • Breaking the plus-size taboo?
                                                                                        • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Number of stores of top designer brands, 2010
                                                                                          • The market for designer brands is buoyant
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Key financials of top designer brands (global), 2009-10
                                                                                        • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Adspend tentatively picks up in 2010
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Main monitored media advertising expenditure of designer/high-end clothing brands, 2007-11
                                                                                            • Press advertising holds supremacy
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Main monitored media advertising expenditure of designer/high-end clothing brands, % share by media type, 2007-10
                                                                                            • Chanel continues to dominate in adspend
                                                                                              • Figure 33: Main monitored media advertising expenditure, by designer/high-end clothing brands, 2007-10
                                                                                          • The Consumer – What Defines a Luxury Brand?

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Luxury brands denote quality
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Definitions of a luxury brand, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                              • Luxury brands have an air of exclusivity
                                                                                                • Under-25s and Ds align luxury brands with high prices
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Consumers who define luxury brands as having a high price, September 2011
                                                                                                • Designer labels define luxury goods for 16-24s and Ds
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Consumers who define luxury brands as having a designer label or visible trademark, September 2011
                                                                                                • Women think customisation is a defining factor
                                                                                                  • Status and respect is key for younger generation
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Consumers who define luxury brands as something that gives the owner status or respect, September 2011
                                                                                                  • One in seven think celebrity endorsement defines high-end items
                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Views on Shopping for Luxury Brands

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Views on shopping for luxury brands, September 2011
                                                                                                      • Four in ten look for discounts
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Consumers who only buy luxury brands if they are drastically reduced in price, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                      • Men and under-35s are most willing to pay full price
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Consumers who sometimes buy luxury brands at full price as they think they’re worth the price, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Consumers who try to budget other household expenses and dining out in order to buy luxury brands, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                      • One in 50 are prolific buyers of luxury brands
                                                                                                        • Over-55s and Es avoid premium items
                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Consumers who don’t buy any luxury or high-end brands regardless of sale prices, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Motivations for Buying Luxury Goods for Self

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                          • Females are indulgent shoppers
                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Consumers who are motivated to buy luxury goods for themselves as treat purchases, by age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                          • Older ABs are attracted to quality
                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Consumers who are motivated to buy luxury goods for themselves because of the quality/craftsmanship, by age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                          • Working under-25s like to reward themselves
                                                                                                            • Technological features draw in over-55 men
                                                                                                              • Under-25 shoppers are image-driven
                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by gender and age, September 2011
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Categories Luxury Brands are Purchased In

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Categories in which luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                • Clothing is the top luxury category
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Consumers buying luxury clothing, by age, socio-economic group and working status, September 2011
                                                                                                                • Beauty versus electronics
                                                                                                                  • Under-35 C2s drive luxury footwear sales
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Consumers buying luxury footwear, by age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                  • 25-34s buy watches and jewellery
                                                                                                                    • Bags are mainly bought by female 25-34s
                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Consumers buying luxury handbags or manbags, by age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                    • Furniture and home appliances
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Where Luxury or Designer Brands are Purchased

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, by gender, September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Department stores are the leaders in luxury
                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, by socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                          • DEs seek out luxury brands in discount retailers
                                                                                                                            • Third party etailers are preferred by under-35 C2s
                                                                                                                              • Outlet malls and designer villages are favoured by ABs
                                                                                                                                • Independent boutiques most popular in London
                                                                                                                                  • One in ten shop at designer stores
                                                                                                                                    • AB 25-34s stock up on luxury goods when they travel
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Designer Brands

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Attitudes towards designer brands, September 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Most people feel guilty spending a lot
                                                                                                                                          • Over-55s and Es avoid flamboyant designer symbols
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Consumers who avoid owning obvious designer initials/patterns/logos because it’s not their taste/style, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Half of Britons believe luxury brands promise high quality materials
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Consumers who think that designer/luxury brands are made from better quality materials and those who think designer/luxury brands are designed/styled better, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                                          • 25-34 ABs think designer brands are styled better
                                                                                                                                            • Exclusivity is a key factor for under-25 ABs
                                                                                                                                              • Designer brands are price prohibitive for a third of Britons
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Consumers who would like to own designer/luxury brands but cannot afford them, by gender, age and socio-economic group, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • A fifth of under-25s get the designer ‘bug’
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Annual expenditure on clothing, by category, 2007-11
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Annual expenditure on clothing, by category, 2007-11
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Annual expenditure on womenswear, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Annual expenditure on menswear, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Attitudes towards appearance, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Attitudes towards fashion and clothing, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Attitudes towards buying clothing, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Agreement with the statements on personal appearance, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – What Defines a Luxury Brand?

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Most popular definitions of a luxury brand, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Next most popular definitions of a luxury brand, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Views on Shopping for Luxury Brands

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Views on shopping for luxury brands, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Definitions of a luxury brand, by views on shopping for luxury brands, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Motivations for Buying Luxury Goods for Self

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Next most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Views on shopping for luxury brands, by most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Views on shopping for luxury brands, by next most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Definitions of a luxury brand, by most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Definitions of a luxury brand, by next most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Categories Luxury Brands are Purchased in

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Most popular categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Next most popular categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by most popular definitions of a luxury brand, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by next most popular definitions of a luxury brand, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by next most popular motivations for buying luxury goods for self, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Where Luxury or Designer Brands are Purchased

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Next most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Motivations for buying luxury goods for self, by next most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Categories luxury brands have been purchased in the last 12 months, by most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Categories luxury brands have been purhcased in the last 12 months, by next most popular retailers where luxury/designer brands have been purchased, September 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Designer Brands

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Agreement with the statements ‘I avoid owning obvious designer initials/patterns/logos because it’s not my taste/style’ and ‘Once a luxury/designer brand is worn/bought by lots of people, I no longer consider them luxury’, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Agreement with the statements ‘Designer/luxury brands are made from better quality materials’ and ‘Designer/luxury brands are designed/styled better’, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Agreement with the statements ‘The more I see luxury/designer brands the more I seek them out’ and ‘I would like to own designer/luxury brands but cannot afford them’, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Agreement with the statement ‘I would feel guilty spending a lot of money on a designer/luxury brand’, by demographics, September 2011

                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                              • Burberry Group Plc
                                                                                                                                              • Calvin Klein, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Chanel Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                                              • Christian Dior
                                                                                                                                              • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                                                              • Dolce & Gabbana
                                                                                                                                              • Donna Karan Company Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Ermenegildo Zegna Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Gianni Versace S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                              • Giorgio Armani S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                              • Gucci Group N.V.
                                                                                                                                              • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                                                              • Hugo Boss
                                                                                                                                              • Jean Paul Gaultier SA
                                                                                                                                              • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                              • Kurt Geiger Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                              • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                              • Prada (I Pellettieri d'Italia S.p.A.)
                                                                                                                                              • Ralph Lauren Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Selfridges Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
                                                                                                                                              • Uniqlo UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Yves Saint Laurent

                                                                                                                                              Consumer Attitudes Towards Luxury Brands - UK - November 2011

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