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Women's Clothes Shopping - US - October 2013

“There are many factors impacting the market for women’s clothing. The growing female Hispanic population and their inclination to buy clothing are fairly obvious factors. However, other considerations for this market include the growth of online and mobile shopping as well as varying levels of sizing among women’s clothing.”

– Ali Lipson, Senior Retail & Apparel Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Where do women shop for clothing?
  • The impact of online and mobile shopping
  • Is size a concern?
  • What would improve the shopping experience when women shop for clothes?

Total retail sales of women’s clothes reached $147 billion in 2012 and are expected to increase in 2013, reaching $151 billion. The outlook for women’s clothing is good. The women’s clothing market is likely to benefit from the growing female population, in particular Hispanics, improved consumer confidence, new retail concepts, and the positive impact of online and mobile shopping.

This report focuses on women’s clothing and offers sales trends, profiles of major retail players in the US market, as well as a detailed exploration of consumers’ attitudes, usage, and shopping behaviors in this category.

The purpose of this report is to identify behaviors and preferences among female shoppers when shopping for clothing. Clothing in this report covers the following categories: jeans, pants/slacks, T-shirts, blouses, sweaters, dresses, skirts, jackets/coats, blazers, shorts, workout clothes (tops and bottoms).

Underwear, sleepwear, hosiery, footwear, and accessories are excluded from this report.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Overview
                      • The market
                        • Figure 1: Fan chart forecast of total retail sales of women’s clothing, 2008-18
                      • Market factors
                        • Increasing female population likely to impact women’s clothing market
                          • Figure 2: Female population aged 18 or older, by age, 2008-18
                          • Figure 3: Hispanic women, aged 18 or older, by age, 2008-18
                        • Online and mobile shopping makes shopping for clothes easier, more convenient
                          • Sizing issues and obesity are a concern among women
                            • Figure 4: Prevalence of obesity among women aged 20+, by age group, 2009-10
                          • The consumer
                            • Women shop at value department stores, mass merchandisers for clothing
                              • Figure 5: Types of retailers shopped for women’s clothing, in-store vs. online, August 2013
                            • Sales, replacement items are top reasons women buy clothes
                              • Figure 6: Reasons for buying clothes, August 2013
                            • Comfort and quality most important when shopping for clothing
                              • Figure 7: Attitudes toward personal style, August 2013
                            • Women are loyal to stores, influenced by sales
                              • Figure 8: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, August 2013
                            • Size, assistance, and discounts would make shopping for clothes better
                              • Figure 9: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, August 2013
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • Where do women shop for clothing?
                                  • The issues
                                    • The implications
                                      • The impact of online and mobile shopping
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • Is size a concern?
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                  • What would improve the shopping experience when women shop for clothes?
                                                    • The issues
                                                      • The implications
                                                      • Trend Application

                                                          • Inspire trend: Click and Connect
                                                            • Inspire trend: Access All Areas
                                                              • Mintel futures: Human
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Women’s clothing market expected to grow
                                                                    • Figure 10: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of women’s clothing, at current prices, 2008-18
                                                                    • Figure 11: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of women’s clothing, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                      • Figure 12: Fan chart forecast of total retail sales of women’s clothing, 2008-18
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Growing female population will impact the market for clothing
                                                                        • Figure 13: Female population aged 18 or older, by age, 2008-18
                                                                      • Hispanic women represent growth opportunity
                                                                        • Figure 14: Hispanic women aged 18 or older, by age, 2008-18
                                                                        • Figure 15: Purchasing power, by race/Hispanic origin, 1990-2017
                                                                      • Consumer confidence affects consumers’ spending on clothing
                                                                        • Figure 16: Index of consumer sentiment, May 2007-August 2013
                                                                      • Online and mobile shopping impacts how women shop for clothes
                                                                        • Sizing issues and levels of obesity a concern among women’s clothing
                                                                          • Figure 17: Prevalence of obesity among women aged 20+, by age, 2009-10
                                                                      • Retailer Overview

                                                                          • Clothing specialists
                                                                            • Ann Inc.—Ann Taylor and LOFT
                                                                              • Express
                                                                                • Forever 21
                                                                                  • Gap Inc.—Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy
                                                                                    • H&M
                                                                                      • J. Crew
                                                                                        • J. Jill
                                                                                          • The Limited
                                                                                            • New York & Company
                                                                                              • Issues and opportunities for clothing specialists
                                                                                                • Department stores
                                                                                                  • Bloomingdale’s
                                                                                                    • JCPenney
                                                                                                      • Kohl’s
                                                                                                        • Macy’s
                                                                                                          • Nordstrom
                                                                                                            • Issues and opportunities for department stores
                                                                                                              • Mass merchandisers
                                                                                                                • Kmart
                                                                                                                  • Target
                                                                                                                    • Walmart
                                                                                                                      • Issues and opportunities for mass merchandisers
                                                                                                                        • Discount stores
                                                                                                                          • T.J. Maxx and Marshalls
                                                                                                                            • Ross Stores
                                                                                                                              • Online-only retailers
                                                                                                                                • Amazon.com
                                                                                                                                  • Piperlime.com
                                                                                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                                    • Stitch Fix combines convenience and personalization
                                                                                                                                      • Express to launch new clothing categories
                                                                                                                                        • Destination Maternity trials new formats
                                                                                                                                          • Retailers focus on Millennial women
                                                                                                                                            • Nordstrom to expand Topshop partnership
                                                                                                                                              • Shopping websites and apps help direct women to sales
                                                                                                                                                • Rent the Runway adds plus sizes
                                                                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                                    • Strategy – Celebrity influence
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 18: Ann Taylor email ad, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Piperlime screen shot, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: New York & Company Eva Mendes collection screen shot, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: New York & Company Eva Mendes collection print ad, as seen in In Style Magazine, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Gap # BacktoBlue TV commercial “Just the Way You Are,” September 2013
                                                                                                                                                    • Strategy – Sales and special offers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Ann Taylor “sale ends tonight” email ad, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Gilt City Ann Taylor promotion, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: The Limited email ad, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Banana Republic email ad, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Gap email ad, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Strategy – Using new media to promote fashions
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Nordstrom items for sale by Pinterest popularity, June 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: #HelpMeClinton: How do I find the right pair of jeans, on Macy’s YouTube Channel, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: #HelpMeClinton: Fashion tips and trends for young moms on the go, on Macy’s YouTube Channel, July 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Strategy – Cause marketing
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: The Limited 50th anniversary screen shot, September 2013
                                                                                                                                                      • Strategy – Fast fashion
                                                                                                                                                      • Women’s Clothing Purchases

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Tops/T-shirts and jeans purchased by most women
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • 18-24s and 65+ have opposing clothing preferences
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Engage with lower-income women
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                        • Amount Spent on Women’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Most women have spent $100-299 on clothing
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Amount spent on women’s apparel, July 2012- March 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Oldest and youngest women spend the least on clothing
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Amount spent on women’s apparel, by age, July 2012- March 2013
                                                                                                                                                            • Spending levels correlate with level of household income
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Amount spent on women’s apparel, by household income, July 2012- March 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Types of Retailers Shopped for Women’s Clothing

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Women shop at value department stores, mass merchandisers for clothing
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                              • Types of retailers shopped – In-store
                                                                                                                                                                • Older women avoid specialty stores, fast fashion, boutiques
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any in-store, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Lower-income women not likely to visit factory/outlet, fast fashion stores
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any in-store, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Types of retailers shopped – Online
                                                                                                                                                                  • 25-34s most likely to shop for clothing online
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any online, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Online shopping behavior similar to in-store preferences by income level
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any online, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Stores can focus on women’s attitudes to help promote items
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by attitudes toward personal style, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by attitudes toward personal style, August 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Buying Clothes

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Sales, replacement items are main reasons women buy clothes
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Reasons for buying clothes, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger women impacted by what others are wearing
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Reasons for buying clothes, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • High-income women influenced by sales, special offers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Reasons for buying clothes, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes toward Personal Styles

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Comfort and quality most important when shopping for clothing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward personal style, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Younger women share style tips/advice with others
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward personal style, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Higher-income women dress to impress
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward personal style, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Clothes Shopping

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Women are loyal to stores, influenced by sales
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Older women prefer to shop alone, younger women enjoy shopping the most
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Highest-income women likely to be loyal to certain retailers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Improvements Sought from Clothing Retailers

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sizes, assistance, and discounts would make shopping for clothes better
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Younger women seek the most improvements when shopping for clothes
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Women in the highest-income households seek improved dressing room experience
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                        • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics likely to purchase workout clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Blacks spend the least on women’s clothing, still more than $250
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Amount spent on women’s apparel, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012-March 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics and non-Hispanics seek value, choose different retailers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any in-store, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Online retailer preferences similar for all race/Hispanic origin groups
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any online, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanic women are influenced by others when shopping for clothes
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Reasons for buying clothes, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanic women more focused on style
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Attitudes toward personal style, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • White and Black women most influenced by sales/special offers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Blacks seek more sizes, stores that are easier to navigate
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                            • Women’s clothing purchases
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, by marital status, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Women’s clothing items bought for self in the past year, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Types of retailers shopped – In-store
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any in-store, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Types of retailers shopped – Online
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any online, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Types of retailers shopped – Either in-store or online
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing – Any purchase, by age, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by household income, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by marital status, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward personal style
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Attitudes toward personal style, by marital status, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Attitudes toward personal style, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by marital status, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Attitudes and behaviors regarding clothes shopping, by frequency of visiting social media website, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                            • Improvements sought from clothing retailers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by marital status, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by generations, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by types of retailers shopped, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Improvements sought from clothing retailers, by types of retailers shopped for women's clothing—Any purchase, August 2013
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                            Women's Clothes Shopping - US - October 2013

                                                                                                                                                                            US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)