2024
9
UK Womenswear Market Report 2024
2024-05-28T13:02:36+01:00
REPDA8FD5FA_0962_4C10_A405_90C06F359649
2195
173244
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Report
en_GB
The cost of living crisis has led to caution around spending and while women have adopted more savvy shopping behaviours, they have turned to fashion to boost their mood. As…

UK Womenswear Market Report 2024

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your business with Mintel’s UK Womenswear Market Report 2024. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviours affecting your industry. Get a 360° view of the market including womenswear market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with the needs of your audience.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analysed in the full report and summarised the core topics.

Topics Analysed in this Report

  • The short-, medium- and long-term impact of the cost-of-living crisis on womenswear purchasing.
  • What clothes sizes women buy and attitudes to sizing and fit when shopping.
  • How retailers can drive more frequent shopping and interest in online fit technology and the use of AI for recommendations.
  • Women’s changing clothes shopping behaviours including the rise of resale, interest in quiet luxury and interest in sports collaborations.
  • Market definition: this report examines the UK womenswear retail market for consumers, including outerwear, but excludes underwear, footwear and jewellery.

Womenswear Market Outlook

The cost of living crisis has led to caution around spending and while women have adopted more savvy shopping behaviours, they have turned to fashion to boost their mood. As inflation rates fall and consumer confidence increases, there are opportunities for the womenswear market to trade on mood-boosting demand, drawing lessons from the success seen in the health and beauty industry.

While in-store shopping has seen an upward trend since the end of the pandemic, it has not returned to pre-Covid levels. Retailers in the women’s clothing market need to do more to entice customers back to stores by making them more experiential and by using the latest technology to ensure a more convenient and seamless shopping journey.

Major sporting events such as the Paris Summer Olympics 2024, which will be the first to have gender parity in terms of athletes competing, present big opportunities for women sport’s brands to boost engagement by young women in sport through improvements in their sizing and product ranges.

  • Womenswear market size: The womenswear market continues to grow to £32.2 billion in 2023.

Women’s Clothing Market Trends and Opportunities for Brands

Given high rates of obesity among young women aged 25-34,  the fashion market for trend-led and flattering clothes in larger sizes is still underserved. Given that this demographic are opting for fewer, but better quality clothes, as part of the ‘quiet luxury’ trend, there is a gap in the women’s clothing market for more premium pieces in extended sizes. As an example of the potential for this, womenswear brand Rixo’s latest collaboration to launch in July 2024 will go up to size 26.

  • Womenswear market statistic: According to Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, 61% of women aged 25-34 are  overweight or obese.

Expert Insights from a Retail Analyst

This report, written by Tamara Sender Ceron, a leading research analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight trends in the women’s clothing market and add expert context to the numbers.

While women have adopted more savvy shopping behaviours, they are still buying clothes, with half of females shopping for fashion to enhance their mood.

Tamara Sender Ceron

Tamara Sender Ceron
Associate Director – Fashion Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • Opportunities for the Womenswear market
    • Sports brands can promote gender parity at Olympics
    • Gap in the market for ‘quiet luxury’ clothes in larger sizes
    • Using technology to improve fit and reduce returns
    • Market dynamics and outlook
    • Market size & forecast
    • Market predictions
    • Consumer spending on womenswear to rise 4.7% by 2024
    • Clothing inflation remains high
    • Graph 1: overall CPIH, garment CPIH and garment by gender CPIH % change, 2023-24
    • Three in five women overweight or obese
    • Graph 2: prevalence of overweight and obesity, by gender, by age group, 2021
    • What consumers want and why
    • In-store shopping fails to return to pre-pandemic levels
    • Graph 3: how women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2020-24
    • Women shop for clothes at various types of retailers
    • Graph 4: types of retailers where women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2024
    • Size 12 is the most popular clothing size
    • Graph 5: clothing sizes women typically buy, 2024
    • Women less likely than men to feel good in the clothes they buy
    • Graph 6: attitudes towards women’s clothes and clothes purchasing, 2024
    • More size consistency would encourage almost half of women to shop more frequently
    • Graph 7: factors that will encourage women to shop more frequently for clothes, 2024
    • Three in five women like to shop for discounted clothes…
    • Graph 8: clothes shopping behaviours, 2024
    • Retailer activity
    • Clothing retailers extend size offer
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market size
    • Consumer spending on womenswear grew 4.2% in 2023 to £32.2 billion
    • Graph 9: consumer spending on womenswear, 2018-23
    • Market forecast
    • Consumer spending on womenswear to rise 4.7% by 2024
    • Consumer spending will normalise
    • Value retailers were the main beneficiaries of the last income squeeze
    • Graph 10: consumer spending on clothing and accessories, 2009-14
    • Macro-economic factors
    • Clothing inflation remains high
    • Graph 11: overall CPIH, garment CPIH and garment by gender CPIH % change, 2023-24
    • Women prioritise saving over buying new clothes
    • Graph 12: consumer behaviours in the last three months and planned to do over the next three months, 2024
    • Women feel more impacted by price rises than men…
    • Graph 13: consumer impact of issues over the last two months, by gender, 2024
    • …and more negative about the impact on their financial situation
    • Graph 14: impact of price factor on financial situation over the next year, by gender, 2024
    • Graph 15: impact of interest rates on financial situation over the next year, by gender, 2024
    • An ageing population can provide opportunities for womenswear
    • Graph 16: projected population levels, by age group, 2023-2033
    • Three in five women are classified as overweight and obese
    • Graph 17: prevalence of overweight and obesity, by gender, by age group, 2021
  3. What Consumers Want and Why

    • What they buy
    • Purchasing levels of outerwear and footwear drop in Q1 2024
    • Graph 18: fashion items women have purchased in the last three months, 2024
    • Denim grows in popularity
    • Graph 19: clothing items women have purchased in the last three months, 2024
    • Trend for embellished jeans
    • Women spend less than men per shopping trip
    • Graph 20: amount spent on clothing items on last shopping trip, by gender, 2024
    • Women bought fewer items
    • Graph 21: number of clothing items purchased on last shopping trip, by gender, 2024
    • Who buys
    • Only small variation in purchasing by age group
    • Graph 22: clothing purchasing in the last 12 months, by generation, 2024
    • Retailers add premium ranges to appeal to higher spenders
    • Graph 23: clothing purchasing in the last 12 months, by household income, 2024
    • How they shop
    • Women shop online
    • Graph 24: how women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2024
    • In-store shopping fails to return to pre-pandemic levels
    • Graph 25: how women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2020-24
    • Gen Z are keen in-store shoppers
    • Graph 26: how women bought clothing in the last 12 months, by generation, 2024
    • Under-35s use smartphones to shop online
    • Graph 27: how women bought clothing in the last 12 months, by age group, 2024
    • Where they shop
    • Women shop for clothes at various types of retailers
    • Graph 28: types of retailers where women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2024
    • Increase in popularity of pureplays
    • Graph 29: types of retailers where women bought clothing in the last 12 months, 2020-24
    • Gen Zs are keen sports store shoppers
    • Graph 30: types of retailers where women bought clothing in the last 12 months, by generations, 2024
    • More interactive sports stores
    • Sports stores improve sizing offer
    • Over half of under-44s shop at value retailers
    • Sustainable initiatives key to driving sales at independent womenswear retailers among 65+
    • Mothers favour buying clothes from supermarkets
    • Graph 31: types of retailers where women bought clothing in the last 12 months, by any children, 2024
    • Clothing size purchased
    • Size 12 is the most popular clothing size
    • Graph 32: clothing sizes women typically buy, 2024
    • Size 12 is the most popular clothing size
    • Graph 33: clothing sizes women typically buy, 2024
    • Only 17% are plus-size shoppers
    • Graph 34: clothing sizes women typically buy NET, 2024
    • Plus-size shopping peaks with women aged 65+
    • Graph 35: proportion of women who bought plus-sized clothing in the last 12 months, by age group, 2024
    • Half of plus-size shoppers buy clothes from supermarkets
    • Attitudes to sizing and fit
    • Women less likely than men to feel good in the clothes they buy
    • Graph 36: attitudes towards women’s clothes and clothes purchasing, 2024
    • Younger Millennials impacted by low self-esteem
    • Graph 37: agreement with clothes not fitting negatively impacts my self-esteem, by generations, 2024
    • Three in five women aged 65+ look for clothes designed to flatter their bodies
    • Graph 38: agreement with buying clothes to flatter my body shape, by gender and age, 2024
    • Women are less likely to shop at specialist plus size retailers than men
    • Graph 39: agreement with shopping at specialist plus size/tall retailers, by gender and age, 2024
    • Mainstream retailers collaborate with plus-size specialists
    • Young women shop less online as they want to try on clothes
    • Driving more frequent shopping
    • More size consistency would encourage almost half of women to shop more frequently
    • Graph 40: factors that will encourage women to shop more frequently for clothes, 2024
    • Help larger sized shoppers with better in-store clothing size availability and more consistent sizes
    • Graph 41: factors that will encourage women to shop more frequently for clothes , by type of clothes size shopper, 2024
    • Improve in-store changing rooms to entice young women to shop more frequently
    • Demand for images that normalise all body types
    • Graph 42: agreement with use of images/videos that normalise all body types would encourage women to shop more frequently, by generation, 2024
    • Body positivity social posts among women focus on fashion
    • High earners want to try on clothes before purchasing when shopping online
    • Graph 43: factors that will encourage women to shop more frequently, by household income, 2024
    • One in four women drawn to online try-on tools
    • Graph 44: agreement with online try-on tools would encourage women to shop more frequently, by age group, 2024
    • Using AI to help with sizing
    • Clothes shopping behaviours
    • Three in five women like to shop for discounted clothes…
    • Graph 45: clothes shopping behaviours, 2024
    • …and young women are more likely to adopt this behaviour
    • Graph 46: agreement with waited to buy clothes until they were discounted, by age group, 2024
    • Tapping into the quiet luxury trend
    • Half of women buy fewer but better quality clothes
    • The ‘quiet luxury’ trend
    • Women bought clothes to enhance their mood
    • Graph 47: agreement with buying clothes to enhance the mood in the last 12 months, by generations, 2024
    • Affluent females buy beauty/personal care products from fashion retailers…
    • Graph 48: agreement with buying beauty/personal care products from a fashion retailer in the last 12 months, by household income, 2024
    • …and more likely to use a fashion retailer’s loyalty scheme
    • Graph 49: agreement with using a fashion retailer’s loyalty scheme, by household income, 2024
    • One in three women buy sports clothing from a fashion retailer
    • Affluent women adopt sustainable shopping behaviours
    • Graph 50: shopping behaviours, by household income, 2024
  4. Retailer activity

    • Brand research
    • M&S stands out as the favourite brand
    • M&S draws younger shoppers, but still skewed to customers over-55
    • M&S is viewed as the most trusted and diverse
    • Shein and Temu usage rises
    • Vinted competes with Primark for value and innovation
    • Graph 51: attitudes towards selected brands, 2024
    • Lucy & Yak is fun and ethical
    • Graph 52: brand personality – macro image of selected brands, 2024
    • Phase Eight is expensive
    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Clothing retailers extend size offer
    • JD Williams adds premium collection
    • Rixo collaborates on range in inclusive sizes
    • New collaborations
    • Retailers tap into inclusivity
    • Selfridges launches in-store ‘Swap Shop’
    • Advertising and marketing activity
    • Womenswear advertising spend continues to decline
    • Graph 53: total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on women’s fashion, 2020-23
    • M&S is the top ad spender in 2023
    • M&S continues to evolve its style perception in AW23 womenswear ad campaign…
    • …and maintains this in its Spring 2024 campaign
    • Digital dominates ad spend, with TV and outdoor spend increasing
    • Graph 54: total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on women’s fashion, by media type, 2020-23
    • JD Williams encourage midlife women to become confident with their fashion style
    • ASOS opens first pop-up store
    • Simply Be calls out bad fit with ‘Serious About Shape’ campaign
  5. APPENDIX

    • Market forecast data and methodology
    • Market forecast and prediction intervals (value)
    • Forecast methodology
    • Report scope and definitions
    • Market definition
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Methodology
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
    • Infegy Atlas

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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