Youth Fashion - UK - May 2009
This report examines clothing items bought by, or for, youths aged between 13 and 19. Since 2008, consumer confidence has dipped because of worsening economic conditions. Subsequently, pocket money and disposable income for youths has been hit by two main factors.
Firstly, there is less money in the household purse, resulting in a squeeze on pocket money. Secondly, there are fewer job opportunities for youths, whether permanent jobs for school leavers or part-time jobs to boost finances while at school or university, due to growing unemployment generally.
In 2008/09, sales of all clothing have been under pressure, yet there are bright spots among the retailers. In particular Primark, popular among teens, has had a year of heady growth, thanks to its up-to-the-minute fashions at rock-bottom prices and its commitment to expansion.
The performance of youth fashion is less closely linked to economic woes than for other consumers, as these younger consumers have fewer commitments and demands on their cash. They take a more carefree attitude to spending (see TGI data) and they still want to look their best.
But the “bank of mum and dad” is under pressure, and some parents are less inclined to lend the credit card for online shopping. So, this could lead to some youths turning back to high street shopping. However, at present it appears that online shopping is the segment that is doing best within retail and this does not look set to change, even if some youths choose high street shops.
What will happen to online and high street spending on youth fashion in the economic downturn?
Will youths trade down to cheaper prices during the recession, or are they more likely to opt for better quality items that last longer?
What should youth fashion retailers do to ride out the recession?
How can retailers expand their appeal to teenage shoppers?
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