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Officewear - UK - December 2009

Mintel examines the impact of economic factors on clothing sales and examines the preferences of the working consumer in terms of formal or casual dress styles and the outlets where they purchase their working wardrobe.

  • Almost three in ten of the more affluent working population wear a combination of casual wear and formal wear to work, while a further three in ten wears only casual clothing, revealing the extent to which workplace dress codes have become more relaxed over time.
  • A relatively small proportion (just one in ten) have bought smarter officewear in the last 12 months to get ahead at work. But they are a dynamic group and, generally, biased towards 25-34-year olds. Reflected in the upgrading of their officewear, this group of young consumers have become serious about their careers. .
  • Loyalty to preferred clothing outlets is a major driver in this market: a third of consumers tend to return to the same stores every time. This buying behaviour is most popular among the senior- and middle-management, setting in after the age of 25 yrs old.
  • Quality is essential to stores’ officewear offering as almost three in ten workers don’t mind paying more for quality.
  • Fashion stores Marks & Spencer and Next are the most popular shops for buying officewear among UK consumers. But discount retailers (such as Primark and Matalan) and grocery multiple (such as Asda) have benefited from the widespread trend for trading down in the current economic climate.
  • Formal officewear shoppers are under-represented at stores such as Matalan, Asda, Primark and Tesco. Nor are such stores really the first port of call for the older, more affluent or more aspirational formal wear consumers who prefer to shop in department stores.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • The helpful retailer
              • Offering a personal touch
                • Sweetening the shopping experience & boosting confidence
                  • The smart/casual dilemma
                    • Fashionable, suitable, and child-friendly
                    • Market in Brief

                      • The silver lining
                        • The end of the line for smart/casual?
                          • The working culture
                            • The downside of the downturn
                              • Faster fashion upheld by the discounters
                                • The power of loyalty
                                  • The search for quality
                                    • Buying online
                                      • Ripe for targeting
                                      • Internal Market Environment – Official Business

                                        • Key points
                                          • Women’s lib-eral spending
                                            • Figure 1: Attitudes towards clothes among workers, by gender, 2009
                                          • Rise of the office
                                            • Figure 2: Employment in services as % of all employment, by industry, 2003-09
                                            • Figure 3: Trends in working status, 2005-09
                                          • Relaxing the rules
                                            • Figure 4: Trends in working from home, 2005-09
                                          • The smart/casual divide
                                            • Figure 5: Style of clothing typically worn to work, October 2009
                                            • Figure 6: Trends in buying formal clothing*, 2007-09
                                        • Internal Market Environment – Dressing to Impress?

                                          • Key points
                                            • Reviving formality?
                                              • Figure 7: Trends in attitudes towards work and appearance, 2005-09
                                              • Figure 8: Attitudes towards work, by gender, 2005-09
                                            • The slow down in fast fashion?
                                              • Figure 9: Trends in attitudes towards clothing, 2005-09
                                            • How the other half lives
                                              • Figure 10: Major difference in attitudes towards clothing, by gender, 2009
                                            • Mid-life fashion crisis?
                                            • Broader Market Environment – Economic Impact

                                              • Key points
                                                • End of an era
                                                  • Figure 11: UK GDP real growth, 1999-Q2 2009
                                                  • Figure 12: Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index, Jan 2006-July 2009
                                                • The clothing hit
                                                  • Figure 13: Items that adults are cutting back on in the recession, February 2009
                                                  • Figure 14: Trends in attitudes towards spending, 2005-09
                                                  • Figure 15: Major difference in attitudes towards spending, by gender, 2009
                                                • No office, no wear
                                                  • Figure 16: Numbers of adults of working age who are unemployed, January 2004-August 2009
                                                • Proceeding with caution
                                                  • Demographic influences to 2014
                                                    • Barring the exits
                                                      • Figure 17: Employment and employment rates, by age, 2007-08
                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                    • Strengths
                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                      • Market Movement

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • The upturn of the downturn
                                                            • Figure 18: Consumer spending on men’s and women’s clothing, at constant 2009 prices, 2004-14
                                                          • Judging books by their covers
                                                            • Serious business
                                                              • Trading up
                                                                • Formal styling – Just for men
                                                                  • The return of power dressing
                                                                    • Formal and fashionable
                                                                    • Consumer – Officewear

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • The lowdown on smart/casual
                                                                          • Figure 19: Style of clothing typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                          • Figure 20: Attitudes towards buying work clothing, by style of clothing typically worn, October 2009
                                                                        • The working wardrobe
                                                                          • Figure 21: Clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                      • Consumer – Who Shops Where?

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Marks & Spencer and department stores attract the higher spenders
                                                                              • Figure 22: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                              • Figure 23: Formal and casual office clothes worn, by shops (netted*) used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                              • Figure 24: Attitudes towards buying quality or smarter work clothing, by type of outlet used to buy work clothes, October 2009
                                                                              • Figure 25: Typical work wear shoppers at M&S and Next, October 2009
                                                                            • Discount dominance
                                                                              • Figure 26: Typical work wear shoppers at discount stores and supermarkets, October 2009
                                                                          • Consumer – Industry Favourites

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • The M&S monopoly
                                                                                • Figure 27: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by industry in which employed, October 2009
                                                                              • M&S still a winner among young and trendy designers
                                                                                • Catering for the man’s world
                                                                                  • Relaxed formality
                                                                                    • Largely casual
                                                                                      • Failing health care
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Clothing items typically wear to work by industry currently working in, October 2009
                                                                                    • Attitudes Towards Officewear

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, October 2009
                                                                                      • Tailoring to the mass-market
                                                                                        • Desperately seeking fashion
                                                                                          • Getting serious
                                                                                            • Can’t get no satisfaction
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by industry currently working in, October 2009
                                                                                          • Target Groups

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Target groups for officewear based on attitudes towards buying clothes for work, October 2009
                                                                                            • Out of Office (41%)
                                                                                              • Fashion Hounds (13%)
                                                                                                • Well Suited (46%)
                                                                                                • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Usual weekly hours of work, by gender, 2008/09*
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Employment, by sector, 2003-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Trends in business travel, 2007-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Trends in working, 2005-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Working, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Trends in working status, 2005-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Trends in expenditure on outerwear, 2007-09
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Expenditure on outerwear, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by demographics, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                • Appendix – Who Shops Where?

                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Most popular shops used to buy clothes that typically wear to work, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Next most popular shops used to buy clothes that typically wear to work, by demographics, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Shops used to buy clothes that typically wear to work (nets), by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                • Appendix – Consumer – Industry Favourites

                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Industry currently working in, by shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Industry currently working in, by next most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by industry currently working in, October, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Clothing items typically worn to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Clothing items typically worn to work (nets), by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Clothing items typically worn to work (nets), by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work (nets), by clothing items typically worn to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Most popular clothing items typically worn to work, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Next most popular clothing items typically worn to work, by demographics, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Other clothing items typically worn to work, by demographics, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Least popular clothing items typically worn to work, by demographics, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Officewear

                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by most popular shops used to buy clothes that typically wear to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by next most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by clothing items typically wear to work (nets), October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Industry currently working in, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Industry currently working in, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Most popular attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Next most popular attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by demographics, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Most popular clothing items typically worn to work, by shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Next most popular clothing items typically worn to work, by shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Most popular attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Next most popular attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Clothing items typically worn to work, by industry currently working in, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by industry currently working with, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Next most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Other shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Least popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by clothing items typically worn to work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Most popular industry currently working in, by clothing items typically worn to work, October, 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Next most popular industry currently working in, by clothing items typically worn to work, October, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Further industry currently working in, by clothing items typically worn to work, October, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Other industry currently working in, by clothing items typically worn to work, October, 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by attitudes towards buying clothes for work, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Next most popular shops used to buy clothes that are typically worn to work, by attitudes towards buying clothes for work, October 2009 (continued)
                                                                                                • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Attitudes towards buying clothes for work, by target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Target groups, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 88: Shops used to buy clothes that typically wear to work, by target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 89: Industry currently working in, by target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 90: Clothing items typically worn to work, by target groups, October 2009

                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                • Alexander McQueen
                                                                                                • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                • ASOS
                                                                                                • Austin Reed Group Ltd (Retail)
                                                                                                • Bhs Ltd
                                                                                                • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                • Burton old
                                                                                                • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                • Donna Karan International Inc.
                                                                                                • Dorothy Perkins old
                                                                                                • Freeview
                                                                                                • French Connection (Retail)
                                                                                                • Gap Inc
                                                                                                • Grupo Inditex
                                                                                                • Gucci Group N.V.
                                                                                                • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                • Hobbs Ltd
                                                                                                • House of Fraser Plc
                                                                                                • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                • JD Sports - Sports
                                                                                                • JJB Sports Plc
                                                                                                • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                • Karen Millen
                                                                                                • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                • Matalan Ltd
                                                                                                • Merrill Lynch (UK)
                                                                                                • Monsoon Accessorize Ltd - UK
                                                                                                • Moss Bros Group Plc
                                                                                                • New Look Group Plc
                                                                                                • Next Group
                                                                                                • Nike
                                                                                                • Peacocks
                                                                                                • Primark Stores Ltd
                                                                                                • Ralph Lauren Ltd
                                                                                                • River Island Clothing Co Ltd
                                                                                                • Saville Row Shirt Co Ltd
                                                                                                • T.M.LEWIN
                                                                                                • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                • The TJX Companies
                                                                                                • Tie Rack
                                                                                                • Topman old
                                                                                                • Topshop old
                                                                                                • Vivienne Westwood Ltd
                                                                                                • Waitrose
                                                                                                • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                Officewear - UK - December 2009

                                                                                                £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)