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Over-55s' Fashion - UK - November 2009

This report looks at the clothing buying habits and attitudes towards fashion of men and women aged 55 and over.

  • Brand loyalty is overwhelming strong among the over-55s, 70% of whom stick with the same brand once they have found the one they like. While this presents a clear barrier to entry for brands hoping to target this sector, it, reveals the strength of those brands which have already cultivated a relationship with this highly loyal and routine-led group.
  • Tech-savvy they may be, but they are still shunning online shopping for clothes. Mintel’s research found that a mere 4% would shop more online if they got more guidance.
  • From 6 April 2020, the state pension age for women will be 65, the same as for men. While this may be bad news for older employees, it presents new opportunities for retailers/brands of formal clothes suitable for office wear to target older working consumers, particularly women.
  • Industry insiders point towards some of the more popular brands among those aged over-55 (who are keen on quality and classic design). The most obvious name that springs to mind is Marks & Spencer. However, it is, in fact, the likes of Ted Baker and Hobbs that appear to hold sway among this older demographic.
  • Who has more influence among the over-55s – Jane Fonda or Scarlett Johansson? Industry insiders and Mintel’s qualitative research both suggest that older consumers don’t necessarily associate themselves with models of their own age. The aspirational effect of clothing is vital: garments that portray a slightly younger look satisfy the desire of over-55s to look younger.
  • Despite the desire to look young, the over-55s do not want to shoehorn themselves into the clothes of younger consumers. They want something that is for them, and that makes them feel good and dignified about who they are now: half of them, in fact, specifically look for styles that suit their age; only 2% want styles for younger people.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • I’m a woman, not an age group
                • Boosting confidence
                  • Celebrating femininity
                    • Harness their expertise
                      • Bridging the generation gap
                        • Wanting to look younger, leaner… and more professional
                          • Masking middle-age spread
                          • Market in Brief

                            • Strength and potential
                              • The reality of retirement
                                • Adversity to shopping
                                  • Times are changing
                                    • Classically trained
                                      • Fashion focus
                                      • Internal Market Environment

                                        • Key points
                                          • Over-55s are doing it for themselves
                                            • Figure 1: Attitudes towards appearance, by age, 2009
                                          • Health and fitness
                                            • Grooming routines
                                              • Figure 2: Attitudes towards personal care, by age, 2009
                                            • Out of the comfort zone
                                              • Figure 3: Trends in statements on personal appearance among over-55s, 2003-09
                                            • Attitudes towards shopping
                                              • All shopped out
                                                • Money talks
                                                  • Between quality and indulgence
                                                    • Figure 4: Attitudes towards quality, by age, 2009
                                                    • Figure 5: Trends in attitudes towards quality amongst over-55s, 2003-09
                                                • Broader Market Environment

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Strong growth for the over-55s
                                                      • Figure 6: Structure of the UK population, by age and gender, 2004-14
                                                    • Living longer lives
                                                      • Figure 7: Life expectancy of 55-year-olds, 2004-07
                                                    • Average retirement age is increasing
                                                      • Figure 8: Employment and employment rates, by age, 2007-08
                                                    • Sizes increase with age
                                                      • Figure 9: What clothes sizes women wear, by 55-64s and over-65s, August 2008
                                                    • Older women more likely to wear bigger sizes
                                                      • Larger sizes worn by almost half of all older men
                                                        • Figure 10: All men who are a size large or extra large+, by age and socio-economic group, August 2008
                                                      • Internet – less attractive to the over-55s
                                                        • Figure 11: Internet usage by men and women aged over 45, by age group, 2009
                                                      • Older role models
                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                        • Strengths
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Older and wealthier
                                                                • Figure 12: Over-55s’ estimated expenditure on clothing and footwear, 2008-14
                                                            • The Consumer – Clothes Buying Behaviour

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Putting the wear in clothes wear
                                                                  • Figure 13: Statements on clothing by age and gender, 2009
                                                                  • Figure 14: Most pronounced differences in attitudes towards clothes among under- and over-55s, 2009
                                                                • Practical and personal
                                                                  • The rising dominance of jeans
                                                                    • Ugly Bettys?
                                                                        • Figure 15: Trends in attitudes towards clothing among over-55s, 2003-09
                                                                      • Thrifty over fifty (fives)
                                                                        • Figure 16: Trends in purchasing outerwear in thr last 12 months among over-55s, 2007-09
                                                                      • Here come the old boys…
                                                                          • Figure 17: Purchasing of outwear in the last 12 months by age and gender, 2009
                                                                      • Attitudes Towards Shopping for Clothes

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                            • Figure 18: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, September 2009
                                                                            • Figure 19: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by gender, September 2009
                                                                          • Shopping out of necessity – demographic break-down
                                                                            • The occasional shopper
                                                                              • Where do they shop
                                                                                • Figure 20: Where the 55-64s and 65+ bought clothing, last 12 months, July 2009
                                                                              • Online instead?
                                                                              • What Over-55s Look For When Buying Clothes

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                    • Figure 21: What over-55s look for when buying clothes, September 2009
                                                                                  • Suits and suitability
                                                                                    • Classic and quality are important for the over-55s
                                                                                      • Between classic and constant
                                                                                        • Are fashion and flattering incompatible?
                                                                                        • The Consumer – How Over-55s Feel About Shopping

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                              • Figure 22: Most popular attitudes towards clothes and clothes shopping among over-55s, September 2009
                                                                                            • Quality reigns supreme
                                                                                              • Help the aged – to find better clothes
                                                                                                • Biding their time
                                                                                                  • The beginning of the end for the high street?
                                                                                                  • Target Groups

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Over-55s clothes shopping marketing targets based on attitudes towards clothes shopping, September 2009
                                                                                                    • Little or no interest
                                                                                                      • Fashionistas
                                                                                                        • Long-term quality
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Internal Market/TGI

                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Statements on luxury/status/national, by age and gender, 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Statements on shopping, by age and gender, 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Statements on personal appearance, by age and gender, 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Trends in statements on products/consumer durables, self perception/personality, 2003-09
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Women who are size 16+, by age and socio-economic group, August 2008
                                                                                                          • Working lives of the over-55s
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Working status, by age and gender, 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Internet use, by age and gender, 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Trends in working status, 2003-09
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Trends in internet use, 2003-09
                                                                                                        • Appendix – What Over-55s Look For When Buying Clothes

                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Important things in shopping for clothes, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Most popular attitudes towards clothes and clothes shopping, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Next most popular attitudes towards clothes and clothes shopping, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                                        • Appendix – How Over-55s Feel About Shopping

                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Shopping for clothes, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Important things in shopping for clothes, by target groups, September 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Attitudes towards clothes and clothes shopping, by target groups, September 2009
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Target groups, by demographics, September 2009

                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                        • Agent Provocateur Ltd
                                                                                                        • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                        • Ben Sherman
                                                                                                        • Benetton Group
                                                                                                        • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                        • Charles Tyrwhitt
                                                                                                        • Clear Channel
                                                                                                        • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                        • Cotton Traders Ltd
                                                                                                        • Freeview
                                                                                                        • Gap Inc
                                                                                                        • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                        • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                        • Kingfisher UK & Ireland
                                                                                                        • Knickerbox (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                        • L'Oréal (UK)
                                                                                                        • La Senza Ltd
                                                                                                        • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA
                                                                                                        • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                        • Matalan Ltd
                                                                                                        • Miss Selfridge
                                                                                                        • Next Group
                                                                                                        • Primark Stores Ltd
                                                                                                        • Somerfield
                                                                                                        • Ted Baker
                                                                                                        • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                        • Topshop old
                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                        Over-55s' Fashion - UK - November 2009

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