Clothing Retailing - UK - October 2016
“In an increasingly challenging clothing market, clothing retailers need to rapidly adapt to the changing needs of consumers and encourage them to spend by offering them frequently updated collections that are less tied to the seasons, which they can buy and wear immediately.”
– Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- How has the clothing sector performed in 2016?
- Who are the winners and losers in clothing?
- What are the opportunities for driving sales in the sector?
Specialist clothing retailers have seen their share of the total clothing market continue to decline further following the demise of Bhs and Austin Reed and the underperformance of M&S and as sports stores, the grocery multiples and department stores have grabbed share. Online-only retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo and Amazon are seeing strong growth and are rapidly growing their share of spending on clothing. The way consumers are shopping for clothes is changing, there is a buy-now, wear-now mentality and retailers have failed to adapt to this fast enough, with the majority of women aged 16-44 finding it hard to find clothes that suit unusual weather for the season such as warm clothes in summer. There has also been a growing momentum for locally made clothes.
While womenswear is struggling, menswear is driving growth and sales of men’s clothing are rising at a faster rate than women’s clothing, driven by a growing interest in fashion and grooming among men. Young fashion retailers that have previously focused mainly on women are experiencing a real shift in shopping habits, with a decline in young women shopping and a big increase in young male shoppers. Retailers such as New Look, H&M and River Island are responding to this increase in male shoppers and are adapting to the new reality by dedicating more store space to men, launching standalone menswear stores and with a wider range of men’s clothing, footwear and accessories. However, this change in demographics buying clothes has huge implications for the fashion sector and retailers that have previously focused on women need to move fast to capitalise on the rise in young male shoppers and to make up for the decline in young female shoppers.
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