Designer/Upmarket Clothing - UK - March 2010
This report examines consumer attitudes towards designer brands and high-end clothing retailers. By asking consumers to classify themselves in broad terms according to their wardrobe and where they buy most of their clothing we can examine attitudes and purchasing behaviour based on their relative levels of expenditure on clothing, ie whether they are a value, mid-market or high-end/designer shopper. Note – this report excludes the responses of value shoppers.
- The premium clothing sector has been less impacted by the recession than the market as a whole. But the more ‘basic’ area of designer/upmarket high street clothing – everyday items – has been more impacted where consumers are happy to mix and match with mid-market items.
- The designer wear market has substantial scope to encourage trading up from upmarket high street clothing: only one in five people buy some designer clothing whereas almost two in five buy some upmarket high street clothing.
- Demonstrating a level of devotion rarely seen in any other clothing sector, more than one in ten buyers say they have made sacrifices in other areas of spend, such as holidays, so they can afford designer clothes.
- Counter-intuitively, men are twice as likely as women to buy both designer clothing. whereas women are keener mid-market shoppers justifying purchases on the basis of physical qualities such as style, cut, fabric and quality.
- Collaborations between designers, celebrities and high street retailers are now well established. But few collaborations include much, if any, menswear: an opportunity going forward as men are greater designer buyers than women.
- Designer clothing – and to a slightly lesser extent upmarket high street clothing – may be fairly insulated from issues with the wider economy. Buyers are a small niche group and the market continues to be buoyed by international travellers.
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