Value Clothing Retailing - UK - December 2009
The value clothing market is continuing to grow strongly, up an estimated 6% in 2009 to £8.1 billion. With a similar growth rate in 2008, sales of value clothing have not been dented by the consumer downturn.
Specialist fashion discounters (led by Primark, TK Maxx and Matalan) are the main beneficiaries of the strong growth in value clothing sales, and have seen their sales rise by 7% to £5 billion in 2009.
With 18m adults (ie over a third) buying clothing at Primark in the last year, this is now the UK’s most popular value clothing chain. Although the retailer has lost ground among more affluent consumers (ABs), it has picked up less well-off consumers (C2s) – probably those same shoppers lost by the supermarkets.
Consumer perceptions of product quality may be a growing issue. Only 8m consumers agree that the quality of value clothing is as good as in other clothing stores, down significantly from 2007. .
The shopping experience in the value clothing market is also an issue: less than 4m consumers find the experience pleasurable, pointing to the need for better design of fixtures, more space and better lighting. to improve the environment in which consumers are buying.
Value clothing stores will benefit from the rising number of 25-34-yr olds over the next five years as people in this age group are avid value fashion purchasers: only 2% never shop at value clothing retailers.
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