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Underwear - UK - June 2013

“Average spend per head on underwear remains low, as a result of the wide availability of low-priced pants and bras, the popularity of multipacks and half of consumers only buying new items when their old ones have worn out.”

– Tamara Sender, Senior Clothing Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What is the impact of growing competition in the underwear market?
  • How important is celebrity endorsement to the underwear market?
  • What will drive growth in the underwear market over the next few years?
  • What demographic will drive growth in the underwear market?
  • Do consumers buy underwear online or what is putting them off?

While the underwear market is not as fashion-focused as the clothing market, it is important for retailers to ensure that they stay relevant in a rapidly changing sector that is facing increasing levels of competition both from new players launching in the UK and from existing retailers upping their lingerie offer.

Mintel estimates the underwear market has grown by 1.5% to almost £2.7 billion in 2012. Sales, however, have been held back by the high level of replacement buying among British consumers. Only buying new items when your old ones have worn-out is much more common for underwear than for clothing. At the same time over half of both men and women tend to stick to the same styles of underwear.

One of the ways to drive growth in the underwear market therefore is through new products and the use of new fabrics to give consumers an incentive to buy more and experiment, as well as more fashionable ranges.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of underwear, 2007-17
            • Market factors
              • Figure 2: Proportion of obese population, by gender, 2005-50
            • Olympics boost sports underwear market
              • Figure 3: Regular and occasional participation* in sport, 2008-12
            • Changing population structure
              • Companies, brands and innovation
                • Retail shares
                  • Who’s innovating?
                    • The consumer
                      • Women are the main purchasers
                        • Figure 4: Women who have purchased any underwear for themselves or someone else either in-store or online in the last 12 months, by age, socio-economic group and presence of children, April 2013
                      • Women and types of underwear
                        • Figure 5: Types of underwear women have bought for themselves or received as a gift, April 2013
                      • Men and types of underwear
                        • Figure 6: Types of underwear men have bought for themselves or received as a gift, April 2013
                      • Where underwear is bought
                        • Figure 7: Retailers in-store and online from where underwear was bought for self or someone else in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2013
                      • Amount spent on underwear
                        • Figure 8: Amount spent on underwear in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2013
                      • Three in ten women buy underwear for their men
                        • Figure 9: Attitudes towards buying underwear, by gender, April 2013
                      • Women are most loyal
                        • Gifting
                          • Quality beats price
                            • Figure 10: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear, April 2013
                          • Fit is barrier to online shopping
                            • Advice from staff
                              • What would encourage consumers to buy underwear
                                • Figure 11: What would encourage you to buy underwear, April 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • What is the impact of growing competition in the underwear market?
                                    • How important is celebrity endorsement to the underwear market?
                                      • What will drive growth in the underwear market over the next few years?
                                        • What demographic will drive growth in the underwear market?
                                          • Do consumers buy underwear online or what is putting them off?
                                          • Trend Applications

                                              • Trend: Return to the Experts
                                                • Trend: Many Mes
                                                  • Mintel Futures: Old Gold
                                                  • Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Obesity drives demand for larger cup sizes
                                                        • Figure 12: Proportion of obese population, by gender, 2005-50
                                                        • Figure 13: Female obesity in England, by age, 2009-11
                                                      • Olympics boost sports underwear market
                                                        • Figure 14: Regular and occasional participation* in sport, 2008-12
                                                        • Figure 15: Participation in individual sports, 2011/12
                                                      • Changing population structure
                                                        • Figure 16: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2007-17
                                                      • Affluent ABs main underwear purchasers
                                                        • Figure 17: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2007-12 and 2012-17
                                                      • 1.5% rise in births boost to maternity underwear
                                                        • Figure 18: Number of live births, UK, 2000-11
                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                      • Strengths
                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • New launches
                                                              • New products
                                                                • Innovations in shapewear
                                                                  • Marketing initiatives
                                                                    • M-commerce
                                                                      • Bra fitting
                                                                        • Charitable donations
                                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Figure 19: UK retail value sales of adult’s underwear, nightwear and outerwear, 2007-12
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • The underwear market grows 6% between 2007 and 2012
                                                                              • Figure 20: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of underwear, 2007-17
                                                                            • The sector is set to grow 10% in next five years
                                                                              • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of underwear, at constant and current prices, 2007-17
                                                                            • The future
                                                                              • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Women dominate underwear sales
                                                                                    • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of underwear, at constant prices, by gender, 2007-17
                                                                                    • Figure 23: UK retail value sales of underwear, by gender, 2007-17
                                                                                • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                    • Figure 24: Turnover of key underwear brands, 2010-12
                                                                                  • La Senza closes stores
                                                                                    • Retail shares
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Market share of UK underwear market, by outlet type, 2010-12
                                                                                    • Space allocations
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Space allocation estimates for men and women’s underwear, as a % of total menswear or womenswear, September 2012
                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                    • Specialists
                                                                                      • Bravissimo
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Bravissimo Ltd product range, April 2013
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Key financials for Bravissimo Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                        • CUK Clothing Limited (formerly Courtaulds)
                                                                                            • Figure 29: CUK Clothing Limited product range, April 2013
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Key financials for CUK Clothing Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                          • DBApparel
                                                                                              • Figure 31: DBApparel UK product range, April 2013
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Key financials for DBApparel UK Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                            • Eveden
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Eveden Group Limited product range, April 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Key financials for Eveden Group Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                              • Figleaves
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Figleaves product range, April 2013
                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Key financials for Figleaves, 2011
                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Key financials for JD Williams, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                • La Senza
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: La Senza product range, April 2013
                                                                                                  • Linwood Fabrics
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: LF Intimates product range, April 2013
                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Key financials for LF Intimates Limited, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                    • MJM International
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: MJM International product range, April 2013
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Key financials for LF Intimates Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                      • Triumph International
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Triumph International product range, April 2013
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Key financials for Triumph International Limited, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                        • Generalists
                                                                                                          • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Marks & Spencer product range, April 2013
                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Key financials for Marks & Spencer Group, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Key financials for Marks & Spencer UK, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                          • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on underwear and lingerie, stockings and tights, 2008-12
                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on underwear and lingerie, stockings and tights, % share, by month, 2012
                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on underwear and lingerie, stockings and tights, by top 20 advertisers, 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on underwear and lingerie, stockings and tights, by media type, 2008-12
                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Adspend on underwear and lingerie, stockings and tights, by media type, percentage of total 2008-12
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Who Buys Underwear?

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Profile of female purchaser
                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Women who have purchased any underwear for themselves or someone else either in-store or online in the last 12 months, by age, socio-economic group and presence of children, April 2013
                                                                                                              • Profile of male purchaser
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Men who have purchased any underwear for themselves or someone else either in-store or online in the last 12 months, by age, socio-economic group and marital status, April 2013
                                                                                                            • The Consumer –Types of Underwear Worn by Women

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Types of underwear women have bought for themselves or received as a gift, April 2013
                                                                                                                • Socks most popular as gifts
                                                                                                                  • Thongs favoured by young
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Consumers who have bought briefs, hipsters/shorties, thongs and other types of pants for themselves, by age, socio-economic group and presence of children, April 2013
                                                                                                                  • Under-25s like enhancing bras
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Consumers who have bought different types of bras for themselves, by age and socio-economic group, April 2013
                                                                                                                  • Less than a quarter buy co-ordinated underwear
                                                                                                                    • Sports bras favoured by 25-34s
                                                                                                                      • Affluent buy thermals
                                                                                                                        • Shapewear purchases peak among over-55s
                                                                                                                          • Hosiery purchases skewed towards ABs
                                                                                                                            • Less than one in ten 25-34s buy maternity underwear
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Types of Underwear Worn by Men

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Types of underwear men have bought for themselves or received as a gift, April 2013
                                                                                                                                • Boxers are most popular pants
                                                                                                                                  • Shapewear bought by 25-34s
                                                                                                                                    • Vests become fashionable
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Where Underwear is Bought

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Retailers in-store and online from where underwear was bought for self or someone else in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                                                                        • M&S leads
                                                                                                                                          • Primark in second place
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Retailers where women have bought underwear, by in-store and online, April 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Supermarkets popular among male 25-34s
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Retailers where men have bought underwear, by in-store and online, April 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Women’s fashion stores favoured by under-25s
                                                                                                                                              • Online specialists
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Amount Spent on Underwear

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Women are higher underwear spenders
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Amount spent on underwear in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Amount women spent on underwear in the last 12 months, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Amount men spent on underwear in the last 12 months, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Buying Underwear

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Attitudes towards buying underwear, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Attitudes towards buying underwear, by gender, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Women are most loyal
                                                                                                                                                      • Three in ten women buy underwear for their men
                                                                                                                                                        • Older consumers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Attitudes towards buying underwear, by age, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Gifting
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Agreement with statement ‘I have bought underwear as a gift’, by age and socio-economic group, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Shopping on high street vs browsing and buying online
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Agreement with statements ‘I shop around on the high street and buy in-store’ and ‘I browse and buy online’, by gender and age, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Women cut back more than men
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Shopping for Underwear

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Young are bargain hunters
                                                                                                                                                              • Fit is barrier to online shopping
                                                                                                                                                                • Fashion and underwear
                                                                                                                                                                  • Advice from staff
                                                                                                                                                                    • Quality beats price
                                                                                                                                                                      • Celebrity underwear
                                                                                                                                                                        • In-store shopping environment
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What Would Encourage Consumers to Buy Underwear

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: What would encourage you to buy underwear, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Free or improved deliveries
                                                                                                                                                                              • Click and collect
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demand for bigger sizes
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Specialist fitting advice
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mobile coupons
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Virtual fitting rooms
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK retail value sales of underwear, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Types of Underwear Worn by Women

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Most popular types of underwear women have bought for themselves, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Next most popular types of underwear women have bought for themselves, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Other types of underwear women have bought for themselves, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer - Types of Underwear Worn by Men

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Most popular types of underwear men have bought for themselves, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Next most popular types of underwear men have bought for themselves, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Types of underwear men have received as a gift, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Where Underwear is Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Most popular in-store and online where women have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Next most popular in-store and online where women have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Other in-store and online where women have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Most popular in-store and online where men have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Next most popular in-store and online where men have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Other in-store and online where men have bought underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Amount Spent on Underwear

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Amount spent on underwear by women in the last 12 months, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Amount spent on underwear by men in the last 12 months, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer - Attitudes Towards Buying Underwear

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Most popular attitudes towards buying underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Next most popular attitudes towards buying underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Other attitudes towards buying underwear, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes towards Shopping for Underwear

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 90: Agreement with the statements ‘It’s better to buy in-store so you can see the item before buying’ and ‘I prefer to buy underwear when it is on sale/special offer’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 91: Agreement with the statements ‘The in-store shopping environment (fitting rooms and store design) is important’ and ‘Not knowing if underwear will fit puts me off shopping online’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 92: Agreement with the statements ‘It’s difficult to find underwear that fits well’ and ‘I prefer fashionable styles to classic ones’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 93: Agreement with the statements ‘I feel uncomfortable asking staff for advice in-store’ and ‘Price is more important to me than product quality’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 94: Agreement with the statement ‘I like buying celebrity ranges’, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – What Would Encourage Consumers to Buy Underwear

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 95: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Free delivery on online orders, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 96: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Option to reserve/buy online and collect in-store, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Online vouchers or mobile coupons sent to your smartphone, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 98: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Wider range of sizes, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 99: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Improved delivery options for online orders, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 100: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Advice on the best underwear to improve your shape, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 101: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Specialist fitting advice from trained staff in-store, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 102: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Virtual fitting room online that allows you to visualize what underwear would look like on your body shape, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 103: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – An app that allows me to shop via a smartphone or tablet, by demographics, April 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 104: Attitudes towards shopping for underwear – Underwear endorsed by celebrities, by demographics, April 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aristoc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Berlei
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bravissimo Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Calvin Klein, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Charnos PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Courtaulds Textiles UK
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Eveden Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figleaves Global Trading Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gossard
                                                                                                                                                                                      • House of Fraser Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Intimas Group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Knickerbox (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • La Senza Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • LF Intimates Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Magellan Textile Holdings Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                      • N Brown Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pretty Polly Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sara Lee (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Selfridges Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Triumph International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ultimo
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Valisere International
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Victoria's Secret

                                                                                                                                                                                      Underwear - UK - June 2013

                                                                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)