“While consumers have continued to increase their clothes purchases in real terms, driving up value sales, volume growth has slowed as inflation has returned and the market is vulnerable to cost rises especially in cotton. Consumers remain squeezed but are feeling more confident. In the current climate, clothing retailers can’t get away with being average; they need to excel in both merchandise and innovation.”
– Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- Are consumers prioritising spend on clothing?
- What impact will a fragmented clothing market have?
- How are pureplayers competing in a multichannel world?
- How are different age groups driving growth in the market?
- Where should mid- and top-end retailers shift their emphasis?
Consumers continued to grow spend on clothing in 2013 despite the income squeeze, with sales estimated to have risen 4.5%. Annual spending growth has remained well above inflation since 2008 as shoppers have spent liberally on buying new clothes in the last five years.
The winners in 2012 were value retailers with strong fashion credentials, with Primark and TK Maxx each gaining market share. At the same time, non-specialists including sports retailers Sports Direct and JD Sports, as well as department store John Lewis outperformed the market.
Clothing specialists, on the other hand, saw their total share of the market fall as M&S continued to see declining sales and Next only held its share broadly steady. Spending has fragmented away from the broad-focus, mid-market specialists as consumers search for individuality means they are favouring more targeted specialists.
Mintel’s report includes extensive consumer research looking at where consumers are shopping, how much they spend, as well as their attitudes and behaviours when buying clothes.
This report includes two streams of data relating to the clothing market: consumer spending and retail sales. Both are cited inclusive of VAT.
The former is ONS/Mintel market size data for clothing and accessories. This data covers spending through all channels. This can be found in the Market Size and Forecast section.
The latter originates from the ONS retail sales survey – the most comprehensive, and so accurate, retail survey available; this data covers spending through those retailers defined as specialising in clothing by the ONS. This can be found in the Sector Size and Forecast section.
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
The market size for clothing comprises men's, women's and children's clothes through all retail outlets. It includes outerwear, underwear and fashion accessories, but excludes footwear and jewellery.
Financial definitions used are:
Sales: Turnover as reported by the company, excluding VAT.
Operating profits: pre-tax profits plus interest, less non-trading income such as the sale of fixed assets and any exceptional items, including provisions.
Pre-tax profits: the net trading profit after deducting all operating costs including depreciation and finance charges, but before deduction of tax, dividends and other appropriations.
Operating margin: operating profits as a percentage of sales.
In general, all company sales data are quoted excluding VAT.
Consumer spending data are quoted including VAT unless specifically stated otherwise.
VAT-inclusive sales are used for the forecast
VAT-exclusive consumer spending data is used to calculate market shares.
The UK reduced the standard rate of VAT from 17.5% to 15% on 1 December 2008, before increasing it to 17.5% on 1 January 2010 and 20% on 4 January 2011.
Sales per store, sales per sq m
Sales per sq m is the sales generated during the year divided by the average area traded from during that year.
Sales per store is calculated using the average number of trading outlets during the year.
Value figures throughout this report are at retail selling prices (rsp) unless otherwise stated. Market sizes at constant 2013 prices have been calculated using Mintel’s clothing deflator.