The UK Clothing Market 2017-2022
UK clothing market will grow by 16.6% over the next five years to £51.2bn. While growth is 3.9 ppts stronger than that of 2012-17, the market will be driven by inflation, staying above the 2.0% mark until 2020 owing to the weak pound driving up import and manufacturing costs. Volumes will remain weak as shoppers cut back due to squeezed disposable income, prioritising essentials such as food & grocery or leisure activities.
Menswear is forecast to be the fastest growing clothing subsector out to 2022, with growth of 21.2%, outperforming womenswear by 5.8 percentage points. Growth will be driven by the growing influence of fashion as well as increased retailer investment in the category.
Clothing is forecast to outperform total retail growth between 2017 and 2022, as the third fastest growing sector after health & beauty and food & grocery. Though consumer spending will be under pressure, clothing will remain robust with growth of 16.6% expected over the next five years compared to 12.7% over the previous. Consumers’ concerns about their appearance, interest in fashion trends and desire to treat them will drive growth.
M&S remains the market leader, however it is forecast to cede further share in 2017. It is expected to be the biggest loser in 2017, dropping 0.4 percentage points off its share to end with 8.2%. Its closest rival Next is also forecast to experience share decline in 2017, with weak trading and a lack of customer focus to blame, though it will remain within 1.0 percentage point of M&S. General merchandisers will achieve the fastest growth in the sector at 20.4% in the coming five years, driven by the likes of Very.co.uk and Amazon. The latter is seeking to become a credible fashion player but it has a sizeable challenge ahead to fine-tune its offer and ignite wants-driven fashion purchases given the competition.
Young clothing shoppers have the higher purchase frequency, with 58.1% of 16-24s buying clothing at least once a month, boosted by fast fashion trends and shoppers’ desire for newness. In comparison, just 14.6% of 65+s buy clothing at least once a month.
While Sainsbury’s is expected to win further clothing share, we forecast the grocers to cede share of clothing spend by 0.1 percentage point to 9.4% out to 2022 - though this still results in channel spend rising by 15.3% to £4.8bn. Poor food & grocery trading has stifled clothing sales at Asda and Tesco, owing to a lack of instore footfall in clothing departments, with shares expected to stay flat in 2017.
Amazon has historically achieved limited success in clothing, and while its share has risen by 0.3 percentage points since 2012, its market share is forecast at just 1.0% for 2017. This is despite a 22.5% visitor share, owing to its focus on other product categories such as electricals and entertainment. While it may be top of mind for needs and convenience driven items, especially in niche categories such as technical sportswear, it lacks destination appeal for fashion-led clothing, despite significant investment.
Value for money is the biggest purchase motivator for clothing, especially among mature shoppers. This is followed closely by quality and then price. Across all socio economic groups, value for money and quality were the top two drivers, ensuring it is not low prices alone that will garner sales as shoppers look to justify purchases at a time when their discretionary spending is limited.
The online clothing market is forecast to grow by 55.3% in the five years to 2022, accounting for 34.2% of the market, up from 13.5% in 2012. It will outperform total retail online penetration in 2022 by 15.7 percentage points. Along with department stores, clothing players have been innovators in the online market. While online pureplays such as ASOS and Very.co.uk have been the driving force and set the standard in terms of delivery, returns and regular newness, it is high street players’ investment in online - much needed in order to bridge the gap with aforementioned online pureplays - which is propelling the volume of orders through the online channel.
The report The UK Clothing Market 2017-2022 offers comprehensive insight and analysis of the market (including forecasts up to 2022), the major players, the main trends, and consumer attitudes.
In depth, this report provides the following analysis -