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Womenswear - UK - May 2015

"While women continue to prioritise buying new clothes over other areas of spend, with the womenswear market rising, sales slowed compared with the previous year due to high levels of discounting." 
- Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst

This report answers the following key questions:

  • How has the womenswear market performed and what is the forecast for the sector?
  • How can retailers cater to older women?
  • How can retailers use technology to improve the shopping experience?

While women continue to prioritise buying new clothes over other areas of spend, with the womenswear market rising by in 2014, sales slowed compared with the previous year due to high levels of discounting.

While females aged 16-24 remain the most active clothes buyers, an ageing female population who are increasingly buying more clothes online will mean that older women will exert more influence on the market in the coming years. Retailers will need to focus even more on fit and ensuring that their clothing collections flatter and fit more mature and larger sizes and body shapes.

In order to stay ahead of the game, retailers will need to experiment more with the latest technology such as smart fitting rooms and e-sizing technology to improve the shopping experience.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

        • Womenswear sales slow
          • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK sales of women’s outerwear, 2009-19
        • M&S maintains trustworthy image, built on customer service
          • Figure 2: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, November 2014 and January 2015
        • One in seven women wear plus sizes
          • Figure 3: Women’s UK clothing size/waist sizes, January 2015
        • Primark leads, but loses popularity among young
          • Figure 4: Retailers from which women bought clothing for themselves in the last 12 months, split by in-store and online, January 2015
        • Women cut back
          • Figure 5: Changes in shopping behaviour for number of items of clothing bought and amount spent in the last 12 months, January 2015
        • Discounting hits womenswear hard
          • Figure 6: Female shopping behaviour when buying clothes in-store or online, January 2015
        • Smart fitting rooms could reduce returns
          • Figure 7: Women’s attitudes towards innovations when shopping for clothes in-store and online, January 2015
      • Issues and Insights

        • How has the womenswear market performed and what is the forecast for the sector?
          • The facts
            • The implications
              • How can retailers cater to older women?
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • How can retailers use technology to improve the shopping experience?
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Womenswear grows by 4% in 2014
                            • Menswear outpaces womenswear
                              • Sector will reach £32 billion by 2019
                                • Women remain cautious about their spending
                                  • Decline in young women to impact market
                                    • Ageing population presents an opportunity
                                      • High rates of obesity lead to rising demand for larger clothes
                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Figure 8: UK sales of women’s outerwear at current prices, 2009-19
                                          • Figure 9: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK sales of women’s outerwear, 2009-19
                                      • Market Drivers

                                        • Ageing female population
                                          • Figure 10: Trends in the age structure of the UK female population, 2009-19
                                        • Female employment set to rise
                                          • Figure 11: Female employment and unemployment, 2009-19
                                        • Obesity
                                          • Figure 12: Proportion of overweight and obese female population, 2008-13
                                        • Women are less confident about their finances than men
                                            • Figure 13: How respondents describe their financial situation, by gender, March 2015
                                            • Figure 14: Current financial situation compared with a year ago, by gender, March 2015
                                          • Women cutting back on clothes purchases
                                            • Figure 15: Activities women have done in the last three months, March 2014 and 2015
                                          • Technology
                                            • Figure 16: Personal ownership of consumer technology products, by gender, November 2014
                                            • Figure 17: Personal ownership of consumer technology products, by gender, November 2014
                                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                          • Retailers focus on new store concepts
                                            • Personalised websites
                                              • Retailers cut back on adspend
                                                • M&S associated with good customer service
                                                  • Next has strong all-round brand image
                                                    • White Stuff benefits from positive customer reviews
                                                    • Innovations

                                                      • In-store technology
                                                        • Virtual shopping experience
                                                          • Figure 18: Karen Millen’s ‘Shop Knightsbridge’ online platform
                                                        • New fashion brand targeting mums
                                                          • Contemporary concept
                                                            • Figure 19: A contemporary feel for Jigsaw’s new Milton Keynes store, designed by GP Studio
                                                          • Online personalisation
                                                            • Marketing to create a hype
                                                            • Space Allocation Summary

                                                              • Formal/casual split
                                                                • Figure 20: Retailers of womenswear: formal/casual space allocation, October 2014
                                                              • Space allocations: Detailed estimates
                                                                • Figure 21: Broad range clothing retailers, detailed space allocations for womenswear, October 2014
                                                                • Figure 22: Broad range clothing retailers and supermarket chains, detailed space allocations for womenswear, October 2014
                                                                • Figure 23: Womenswear specialists, retailers’ space allocation estimates, October 2014
                                                              • Estimated sales breakdown
                                                                • Figure 24: Leading clothing retailers’ estimated sales, by product, 2014
                                                              • Sales densities
                                                                • Figure 25: Leading clothing retailers’ estimated sales densities, by product, 2014
                                                              • Market shares
                                                                • Figure 26: Leading clothing retailers’ estimated market shares for womenswear, 2014
                                                            • Brand Research

                                                                • What you need to know
                                                                  • Brand map
                                                                    • Figure 27: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, November 2014 and January 2015
                                                                  • Key brand metrics
                                                                    • Figure 28: Key metrics for selected brands, November 2014 and January 2015
                                                                  • Brand attitudes: Primark predominantly noted for value
                                                                    • Figure 29: Attitudes, by brand, November 2014 and January 2015
                                                                  • Brand personality: Ted Baker seen as most exclusive
                                                                    • Figure 30: Brand personality – Macro image, November 2014 and January 2015
                                                                  • Marks & Spencer noted for customer service traits
                                                                    • Figure 31: Brand personality – Micro image, November 2014 and January 2015
                                                                  • Brand analysis
                                                                    • Zara offers more accessible higher-end proposition
                                                                      • Figure 32: User profile of Zara, January 2015
                                                                    • Ted Baker is seen as most exclusive, limiting overall usage
                                                                      • Figure 33: User profile of Ted Baker, January 2015
                                                                    • Marks & Spencer maintains trustworthy image, built on customer service
                                                                      • Figure 34: User profile of Marks & Spencer, November 2014
                                                                    • Next has all-round brand image that appeals to wide range of women
                                                                      • Figure 35: User profile of Next, January 2015
                                                                    • Primark has value image, but 25-34s likely to note a stylish element as well
                                                                      • Figure 36: User profile of Primark, January 2015
                                                                    • New Look has limited target group, but has strong positive image among them
                                                                      • Figure 37: User profile of New Look, January 2015
                                                                    • White Stuff has potential for growth
                                                                      • Figure 38: User profile of White Stuff, January 2015
                                                                    • Fat Face has a similar image to White Stuff but lacks same satisfaction and recommendation
                                                                      • Figure 39: User profile of Fat Face, January 2015
                                                                    • Debenhams has trustworthy image but lacks the same customer service image as M&S
                                                                      • Figure 40: User profile of Debenhams, November 2014
                                                                    • Topshop/Topman’s overall image suffers from youthful targeting
                                                                      • Figure 41: User profile of Topshop/Topman, January 2015
                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                    • Advertising spend declines in 2014
                                                                      • Figure 42: Main monitored advertising expenditure on womenswear, 2011-14
                                                                    • Press is the main form of advertising
                                                                      • Figure 43: Main monitored advertising expenditure on womenswear, by media type, 2014
                                                                    • M&S doubles adspend on womenswear
                                                                      • Figure 44: Main monitored advertising expenditure on womenswear, by advertiser, 2011-14
                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                    • Driving purchases of fashion accessories alongside clothing
                                                                      • Plus-size sector remains underserviced
                                                                        • Older women more likely to wear larger sizes
                                                                          • Primark leads, but young shopping more online
                                                                            • Increase in over-55s buying clothes online
                                                                              • Women cut back on clothes purchases in last year
                                                                                • Increase in discounting impacts womenswear
                                                                                  • 33% of women return clothes bought online
                                                                                    • Smart fitting rooms could reduce in-store returns
                                                                                      • Latest technology can help draw young into stores
                                                                                      • What Fashion Items Women Buy

                                                                                            • Figure 45: Spending habits for clothing, footwear and accessories, by gender, March 2015
                                                                                        • Female Clothes Sizes

                                                                                          • One in seven women wear plus sizes
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Women’s UK clothing size/waist sizes, January 2015
                                                                                          • Older women wear bigger clothes sizes
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Profile of women who wear clothes in plus sizes, by age, January 2015
                                                                                        • Where Do Women Buy Clothes?

                                                                                          • Primark leads, but loses popularity among young
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Retailers from which women bought clothing for themselves in the last 12 months, split by in-store and online, January 2015
                                                                                          • Women aged 55+ shopping more online
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Women who have purchased clothes online in the last 12 months, by age, December 2013 and January 2015
                                                                                          • Young fashion retailers need to convince shoppers to visit stores
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Women who have bought clothing for themselves in the last 12 months from Primark, Next, Topshop, New Look, H&M and other mid-market high street retailers, in-store, by age, January 2015
                                                                                          • Under-35s shop at five or more retailers
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Repertoire of in-store retailers from which women have bought clothes in the last 12 months, January 2015
                                                                                        • Changes in Purchasing Behaviour

                                                                                          • Women cut back
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Changes in shopping behaviour for number of items of clothing bought and amount spent in the last 12 months, January 2015
                                                                                          • Young women spend more on clothes
                                                                                            • Figure 53: Changes in shopping behaviour for amount spent in the last 12 months, by age, January 2015
                                                                                        • Shopping Behaviour

                                                                                          • Discounting hits womenswear hard
                                                                                            • Figure 54: Female shopping behaviour when buying clothes in-store or online, January 2015
                                                                                          • Catering to older women
                                                                                            • Figure 55: Female shopping behaviour when buying clothes in-store or online, by age, January 2015
                                                                                          • A third of women return clothes bought online
                                                                                            • Figure 56: Profile of women who have returned clothes bought in-store and bought online, by age, January 2015
                                                                                        • Consumer Attitudes towards Innovations

                                                                                          • Smart fitting rooms could reduce returns
                                                                                              • Figure 57: Women’s attitudes towards innovations when shopping for clothes in-store and online, January 2015
                                                                                            • Young want to use mobile devices to shop in-store
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Women’s attitudes towards innovations when shopping for clothes in-store and online, by age, January 2015
                                                                                            • Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations

                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                  • New Look Group Plc
                                                                                                  • Topshop old

                                                                                                  Womenswear - UK - May 2015

                                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)