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UK Youth Fashion market report

"Growth in the market is slowing as young women spend less on clothes. Outperforming the market have been the fashion pureplays. Social media plays an important role in fashion purchasing, and without a physical store presence, the pureplays have been highly innovative in building up a social dialogue with young shoppers, while offering the value for money that they seek."
- Alice Goody, Retail Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Engaging the young male shopper
  • Which retailers are winning in the youth fashion sector?
  • How content co-creation can drive social media interaction
  • The case for embracing shoppable social media

Mintel commissioned consumer research for this Report to assess the youth fashion market. Research was carried out by Ipsos MORI among 918 adults aged 15-24. These are referred to as 'young consumers' throughout the Report. Please note that where research from other reports is referred to, the sample is based on internet users aged 16-24.The consumer research covers:

  • Where young people are shopping for clothes
  • What influences their clothing purchases
  • How they are interacting with fashion brands on social media
  • Their attitudes towards buying and browsing for fashion online.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Youth fashion market grows 1.8%
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast spending on clothing and footwear by consumers aged 15-24, 2011-21
            • Young men help drive up value sales
              • Teens and tweens present an opportunity for growth
                • Companies and brands
                  • Fashion pureplays outperform the market
                    • Figure 2: Compound annual growth rates of leading youth fashion retailers, 2011-15
                  • Multichannel young fashion retailers report weak growth
                    • Decline in above-the-line advertising spend
                      • River Island creates branded Snapchat filters for use in stores
                        • The consumer
                          • Primark is the top place for fashion
                            • Figure 3: Where young people shop for clothes, either in-store or online, October 2016
                          • Weather and special occasions influence fashion purchases
                            • Figure 4: Factors that influence the clothing young people buy, October 2016
                          • Content co-creation could boost social media interaction
                            • Figure 5: Interactions with fashion brands on social media in the last 6 months, October 2016
                          • Young people mostly influenced by those of their age
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards buying and browsing for fashion online, October 2016
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Engaging the young male shopper
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Which retailers are winning in the youth fashion sector?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • How content co-creation can drive social media interaction
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • The case for embracing shoppable social media
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Growth in the youth fashion market is slowing
                                                      • Decline in 15-24s set to continue
                                                        • Young people are better off financially
                                                          • More youths in employment
                                                            • Young women lead social media usage
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Youth fashion market grows 1.8%
                                                                • Figure 7: Estimated expenditure on clothing and footwear by 15-24s, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                              • Market set to become more challenging
                                                                • Figure 8: Best- and worst-case forecast spending on clothing and footwear by consumers aged 15-24, 2011-21
                                                              • Teens and tweens present an opportunity for growth
                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Youth population in decline
                                                                    • Figure 9: Trends in the age structure of the UK youth and teen population, by gender, 2011-21
                                                                  • Financial sentiment improves among the young
                                                                    • Figure 10: How 16-24-year-olds describe their financial situation, September 2015 and September 2016
                                                                  • Young women cut back on clothing purchases
                                                                    • Figure 11: What extra money is spent on, by 16-24s, September 2014, 2015 and 2016
                                                                  • More youths in employment
                                                                    • Figure 12: Unemployment rate among 16-17s and 18-24s, Jan-Mar 2013-Jan-Mar 2016
                                                                  • Young women lead social media usage
                                                                    • Figure 13: Usage of social and media networks in the last three months among 16-24s, by gender, March 2016
                                                                  • Six in 10 young people buy outerwear
                                                                    • Figure 14: Clothing and accessories purchasing in the last three months, September 2016
                                                                  • Young people twice as likely to shop for clothing on their smartphone
                                                                    • Figure 15: Channels used to shop online for clothing, footwear and/or fashion accessories, among 16-24s and all consumers, June 2016
                                                                  • Festivals fuel new clothing purchases
                                                                    • Figure 16: Purchasing of fashion items for different summer events, among 16-24s and all consumers, September 2015
                                                                  • Decline in higher education students
                                                                    • University fees set to rise again
                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Pureplays outperform the market
                                                                        • Multichannel young fashion retailers report weak growth
                                                                          • Online holding back Primark’s performance
                                                                            • Menswear market a focus of growth
                                                                              • Message of inclusivity in young fashion retailer’s campaigns
                                                                                • Snapchat an ideal platform for engaging with the young
                                                                                  • ASOS is the most trendsetting brand, Very excels for service
                                                                                  • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                    • Financial performance
                                                                                      • Primark growth slows as it reaches maturity
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Turnover of selected players in the UK youth fashion market, 2011-15
                                                                                      • Pureplays ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo outperform the sector
                                                                                        • Low growth at the youth-orientated Topshop, Topman and River Island
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Compound annual growth rates of leading youth fashion retailers, 2011-15
                                                                                        • Profitability
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Operating profit of selected players in the UK youth fashion market, 2015
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Operating margin of selected players in the UK youth fashion market, 2015
                                                                                        • Outlet numbers
                                                                                          • Superdry expands across Europe
                                                                                            • Struggling Forever 21 reviews remaining UK store portfolio
                                                                                              • Figure 21: Outlet numbers of selected players in the UK youth fashion market, 2011-15
                                                                                            • Brands to watch
                                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                              • Boohoo and New Look focus on menswear growth
                                                                                                • Pureplays leverage trust into range extensions
                                                                                                  • Zara launches sustainable clothing collection
                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Garments from Zara’s sustainable Join Life collection, autumn/winter 2016
                                                                                                  • Missguided incorporates social dialogue into first flagship store
                                                                                                    • Figure 23: In-store signage in Missguided’s flagship store encouraging social media interaction, November 2016
                                                                                                  • River Island trials mobile sales points in store
                                                                                                    • ASOS and New Look offer more precise delivery slots
                                                                                                      • Very launches Whatsapp-style customer service platform
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Screenshots from Very Assistant, set for launch in 2017
                                                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                      • Decline in above-the-line advertising spend
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on fashion among selected players in the youth fashion market, 2012-16
                                                                                                      • Message of inclusivity in young fashion retailer’s campaigns
                                                                                                        • Scope to use ‘real’ young men in advertising
                                                                                                          • H&M promotes diversity in its campaigns
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on fashion among selected players in the youth fashion market, by media type, 2015
                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                          • Social Media Activity

                                                                                                            • Instagram and Snapchat add shoppable features
                                                                                                              • ASOS and Missguided drive content co-creation
                                                                                                                • River Island creates branded Snapchat filters for use in stores
                                                                                                                  • From bloggers to vloggers
                                                                                                                    • Global followers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Global followers on social and media networks, November 2016
                                                                                                                  • Space Allocation Summary

                                                                                                                      • River Island is the least biased to womenswear
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Specialist clothing retailers, estimated space allocation by men’s, women’s and children’s wear, October 2016
                                                                                                                      • Topshop dedicates most space to athleisure
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Specialist clothing retailers, estimated detailed space allocation by category, October 2016
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Womenswear specialists, estimated detailed space allocation by category, October 2016
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Menswear specialists, estimated detailed space allocation by category, October 2016
                                                                                                                    • Retail Product Mix

                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Clothing retailers, estimated sales mix, 2015
                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Clothing retailers, estimated sales density by product, 2015/16
                                                                                                                      • Market shares by product
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Clothing retailers in the youth fashion sector, share of product markets, 2015/16
                                                                                                                    • Brand Research

                                                                                                                        • Next is the most trusted brand among 16-24s
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Attitudes towards selected brands among 16-24s, January-August 2016
                                                                                                                        • Very stands out for customer service
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Attitudes towards selected brands among 16-24s, January-August 2016
                                                                                                                        • Primark offers value, but so do the ‘fun’ and ‘trendsetting’ pureplays
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Attitudes towards selected brands among 16-24s, January-August 2016
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attitudes towards selected brands among 16-24s, January-August 2016
                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Attitudes towards selected brands among 16-24s, January-August 2016
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                        • Primark the most popular place for buying fashion
                                                                                                                          • Amazon and the fashion pureplays gain the most online shoppers
                                                                                                                            • Weather and seasonal events influence fashion purchases
                                                                                                                              • Young people more influenced by their friends than celebrities
                                                                                                                                • Selfie phenomenon creates opportunity for content co-creation
                                                                                                                                  • Shoppable social media set to tap into demand for instant payment
                                                                                                                                    • Young people mostly influenced by those of their age
                                                                                                                                      • Whatsapp set to play a bigger role in online customer service
                                                                                                                                      • Where Young People Shop for Clothes

                                                                                                                                        • Primark the most popular place for buying fashion
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Where young people shop for clothes, either in-store or online, October 2016
                                                                                                                                        • New Look still heavily biased towards women
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Where young people shop for clothes, either in-store or online, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Topman stands out for men’s fashion
                                                                                                                                          • Popularity of sports stores presents scope for men’s active ranges
                                                                                                                                            • Trend data – Who has gained online shoppers?
                                                                                                                                              • Amazon becomes the top online fashion retailer
                                                                                                                                                • ASOS and the fashion pureplays gain the most shoppers
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Where young people shop for clothes online, September 2014 and October 2016
                                                                                                                                                • Trend data – Who has gained overall?
                                                                                                                                                  • H&M sees surge in shoppers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Where young people shop for clothes in-store or online, September 2014 and October 2016
                                                                                                                                                  • Zara grows on the back of fast reaction to trends
                                                                                                                                                    • Repertoire analysis
                                                                                                                                                      • Four in 10 young women shop at five or more retailers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Repertoire of retailers used in store, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Young men show greatest loyalty online
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Repertoire of retailers used online, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                    • Influences on Clothing Purchases

                                                                                                                                                      • Value for money is a top concern
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Factors that influence the clothing young people buy, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • The issue of weather and seasonal fashion
                                                                                                                                                        • Seasonal events key to driving purchases among young women
                                                                                                                                                          • Friends more of an influence than celebrities
                                                                                                                                                            • Teens most concerned with how they look on social media
                                                                                                                                                            • Interaction with Fashion Brands on Social Media

                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity to drive content co-creation
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Interactions with fashion brands on social media in the last 6 months, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                                • One in 10 young women have bought fashion through social media
                                                                                                                                                                  • Engaging with young men on social media
                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Fashion Online

                                                                                                                                                                    • Young people seek out influencers of their age
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes towards buying and browsing for fashion online, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Whatsapp set to play a bigger role in online customer service
                                                                                                                                                                      • Social shopping and personalisation could ease online browsing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Security of buying through social media a concern for young women
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Attitudes towards fashion brands’ activity on social media, by gender, October 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Young consumers demand relevant adverts
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

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